WhatsApp To Charge Rs 5 For Removing ‘Last Seen’ Timestamp, Google To Charge For Search
In an unprecedented move by Google & Facebook, it has been decided that consumers will be charged for features which were traditionally free. This move comes after Internet and Mobile companies are finding it tough to monetize their services even after hoarding millions of consumers and their email ids.
Both Google and Facebook have confirmed these new sweeping changes in their business model, and it is expected that other free online/mobile companies will soon follow them.
After their disastrous Q4 of 2014 results, Google management was under tremendous pressure to increase their revenues and to make investors happy. With advertising dollars (read Google Adwords) reaching a saturation point, Google was left with no other option than to charge their basic service: Searches.
As per confidential reports coming in, Google has announced that from now on, every search made on their website will be charged Rs 1 for Indian consumers and 0.5 cents for all other users. Considering that billions of searches are made every month, this single decision will help Google increase their revenues by $500 million every month or $6 billion in a year.
Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman said, “We believe that the time has come for humanity to realize that there are no free lunches in this world. From the money we will earn, we will attempt to make Google searches more relevant, thematic, and colorful.”
He added that consumers will now be required to add Google Wallet into their Gmail account, and based on the searches, the appropriate money would be automatically deduced.
He later said, “We recommend all users to add atleast Rs 100 in their wallet, as even we are not sure whether your keywords will bring you exact searches in the first attempt or not”
Speculations are also rife that searches related with adult content would be charged triple, whereas those searches which will have “Apple” or “iOS” in them would be billed separately, with added ‘luxury tax’.
After this news broke out, Bing has announced that for every Google searcher coming to Bing, they will pay them Rs 2 or double the amount of every Google search. It seems Microsoft will finally taste some success in the search market, even though it’s a sponsored one.
WhatsApp “Last Seen” TimeStamp
After adding a free privacy feature to hide ‘Last Seen’ timestamp, WhatsApp has now decided to make this feature paid. Although the amount hasn’t been finalized yet, but Facebook insiders are claiming that Rs 5 is an appropriate amount for this ‘gem of a feature’.
As per reports coming in, WhatsApp management realized that ‘Last Seen’ timestamp has resulted in more divorces and breakups compared to hidden cameras and sting operations, and they are in mood to monetize it optimally.
WhatsApp founder Brian Acton said, “No, we don’t support adultery and multiple partner ideology, and we fully believe that a husband or a wife should be committed to their spouses. But, we also realized that using our free privacy feature of hiding ‘Last Seen’ timestamp, people are saving lots of money. All we want is some percentage of that. Rs 5 seems the perfect solution”
With more than 700 million users worldwide, WhatsApp estimates that around 40-50% of them are engaged in illegitimate conversations with other men and women, which they want to hide. After an extensive global market research, they concluded that by charging mere Rs 5 to hide such unofficial, and in some cases illegal conversations, they can earn more than Rs 1000 crore every year.
An unofficial organization named “Husband Welfare Union” has vehemently opposed this move, and reportedly they are in talks with Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare to launch movement against this ‘unfair practice’. But after the latest sting operation was exposed against Arvind Kejriwal, he has refused to provide any support to this movement.
Anna Hazare claims that he doesn’t use WhatsApp, and thus, it doesn’t matter to him.
We will keep you updated as more information come in regarding these developments.
BTW…. Did we forget to wish you Happy April Fool’s Day!