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World’s most popular messaging platform went free for lifetime today. WhatsApp has finally dropped its $1 annual fee service, which usually paid by users after the first year of use. Since there ain’t any third party ads in the application, WhatsApp charged its users under annual subscription to continue to use its services. This Payment method was applicable to WhatsApp users all over the world, but India became the first country where WhatsApp made its services for free life, users in other parts of the world will also get this facility soon. WhatsApp users will soon receive a notification informing them about this facility.
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum announced that the company is dropping the service’s annual subscription fee in an effort to remove the barriers some users faced in using the service. “It really doesn’t work that well,” Koum said, speaking at the DLD conference in Munich. He noted that while a buck a year might not sound like much, access to credit cards is not ubiquitous. “We just don’t want people to think at some point their communication to the world will be cut off.” Source
Here’s what WhatsApp is saying about that, according to a company blog post:
” Nearly a billion people around the world today rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family. From a new dad in Indonesia sharing photos with his family, to a student in Spain checking in with her friends back home, to a doctor in Brazil keeping in touch with her patients, people rely on WhatsApp to be fast, simple and reliable.
That’s why we’re happy to announce that WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees. 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.
Naturally, people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today’s announcement means we’re introducing third-party ads. The answer is no. Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight. We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.
We hope you enjoy what’s coming to WhatsApp, and we look forward to your feedback. ”
This strategy might sound familiar. It’s the same idea behind Facebook Messenger, the company’s other standalone messaging service. With Messenger, Facebook already offers users the chance to chat with businesses, and it’s building out other features, like payments or the ability to hail a ride through Uber.
Koum said businesses are already finding ways to use WhatsApp to reach customers, but said the company could make this a lot easier. He said that the company wants to experiment with different approaches but added, “We haven’t written a single line of code yet.”
“What we decided was that over the long term, the ads and monetization would perform better if there was an organic interaction between people using the product and businesses,” he said. “So instead of focusing on ads first, what we did was we built pages, and we made that free. That way as many businesses as possible could get into the network.”
“The long-term bet is that by enabling people to have good organic interactions with businesses, that will end up being a massive multiplier on the value of the monetization down the road when we work on that and really focus on that in a bigger way,” he said. “So we’d ask for some patience on this to do this correctly, and the game plan will be more similar to what we did in Facebook with News Feed.”
Stay tuned for more updates!
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