One of the world’s most popular messaging services has some good news for you.
WhatsApp has announced that it is abandoning subscription fees for good.
The company revealed the move on a blog post, confirming the decision would apply to WhatsApp’s entire userbase – that’s nearly a billion people.
“For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year,” reads the company blog post. “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.”
It continues: “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.”
Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014
But without fees, does that mean WhatsApp will start to monetise with ads? The company says the answer to that question is a definitive “no”.
Instead, the Facebook-owned firm hopes to earn revenue by letting users talk to businesses and organisations within the app.
“That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight,” writes WhatsApp. “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.”
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What do you make of the WhatsApp announcement? Let us know in the comments.