If you use WhatsApp to chat with your friends and family, you probably don’t even notice the company’s $1 annual fee. If you ask us, that’s a pretty small price to pay for an app—we doubt you’ll rack up a burrito’s worth of payments before you wind up switching to the next greatest chat app at some point over the next five to seven years.
Nevertheless, a subscription fee is a subscription fee. Or, at least, it was; according to a new announcement from WhatsApp, the company is officially dropping this $1 annual charge going forward. WhatsApp will now—and presumably forevermore—be free to use.
“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,” reads the announcement.
Of course, you’re probably wondering just how WhatsApp is going to keep the service going if its not getting that $1 annual fee—is this just the first step toward some new mobile advertising, for example? While we can’t predict what WhatsApp might be up to a few years from now, the company maintains that its not using this fee elimination as a springboard to more annoying forms of revenue generation.
Source: WhatsApp Ditches $1 Annual Fee