WhatsApp Officially Goes Free, Scraps $1 Subscription Fee (that it never charged)
When you first install WhatsApp of your Smartphone, you see a screen, which says, you will be charged Rs. 55 ( in other countries it is USD1) after first year of usage. However, most of us have never paid those fees, neither have we been asked to pay it.
But, if you were worried that you will be asked for subscription fees at some point, worry not. WhatsApp has announced that it will be officially ending the $1 Subscription fee which it levies to users after first year of usage.
Going Forward, WhatsApp will be completely free to use.
In an official blog post, the company said, “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.”
So How Does WhatsApp Plan to Make Money?
Are wondering how WhatsApp will make money (Yes, they need to make money, even if they have Facebook as their parent)? No, it is not going to advertisements. So rest easy!
WhatsApp is currently in the process of testing tools that allow users to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that may be of their interest. It could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight.
WhatsApp is essentially tying up with such Businesses that you are interested in and will facilitate communication with them, which currently happen through other channels like SMS or phone.
These businesses will in turn pay WhatsApp for opening up a new and easy channel of communication with their users.
This definitely is a win-win-win for users, Businesses as well as WhatsApp.
Wonder why WhatsApp did not do this earlier, especially in countries like India where nearly every Smartphone user has WhatsApp installed on their phones!