“It really doesn’t work that well.”
In a conference held on Monday, WhatsApp creator Jan Koum announced on a conference held in Munich that WhatsApp will be free from now on. This is to ensure that users can enjoy the service without having worried that it will be cut off due to payment issues.
While some of us has been enjoying WhatsApp for the longest time, for some people, WhatsApp is only free for the first year and the company charges $0.99 for additional years. With the new announcement, payments will be removed from the app.
Here’s an excerpt from the company’s blog announcement:
“For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well. Many WhatsApp users don’t have a debit or credit card number, and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we’ll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service.”
To date, there are over 900 million people on WhatsApp around the world using WhatsApp to connect with their friends and family.
So now that WhatsApp is free for everyone, how is the company planning to make money?
While there are no final plans yet, WhatsApp is testing to see if businesses will pay to use WhatsApp to connect to its customers. So for example, an airline could soon use the app to contact customers about a flight cancellation or upcoming delays.