WhatsApp just announced that they have abandoned their subscription plan, making WhatsApp FREE once again! They are not going to start showing ads either.
This is likely due to the inroads in their market share made by alternative messaging apps like Telegram and WeChat, that are not only free but offer better features to boot. Even so, WhatsApp remains the dominant instant messaging platform with over 900 million users worldwide (as of September 2015).
Check out their blog announcement :
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.[adrotate banner=”4″]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.
So there you have it – the white flag officially making WhatsApp free once again.
Of course, nothing in life is truly free. WhatsApp will have to figure out another way to monetise their platform. You can’t blame them – they have to make a living!
Until then, enjoy! 😀