This is great news to WhatsApp users. The social media platform has announced that it intends to remove its subscription fee attached to the app. You will recall that WhatsApp require users to pay $1 after their first year of using the service, but its founder Jan Koum, at the DLD Conference in Munich, has announced that the yearly WhatsApp subscription fee is being removed “over the next several weeks” He further said that, “we’ll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service.”
You will agree with me that Whatsapp has over time gained the love and acceptance of billions of users over the world, who rely on its efficient messaging techniques to communicate with friends and love ones. Its flexibility to support text, audio, video, photos and recently voice calls, sharing has made it a widely acceptable platform to share moments with loves ones. To this end, countless techniques and “cheats” has been devised to stay connected to Whatsapp at the expiration of the one year grace period. You will agree with me that a lot of people has over the year devices strategies to bypass this subscription, while quite a handful of people has either given up on using a particular line for Whatsapp or have been forced to use the ‘Change My Number’ feature, all just to stay in touch and keep on using the service. I happened to have done both.
The objective of WhatsApp has been to build a better SMS alternative and in my opinion, they have long achieved that, as the platform has not only become an SMS alternative but has over time, thrive to push SMS to the backdoor, making it a preferred messaging patform.
The announcement to remove the subscription fee was communicated in a Blog Post for WhatsApp said that “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”.
It is worth stating that Whatsapp do not plan a subscription refund for current subscribers, even though the usage will become free.
The subscription fee been charged by Whatsapp was in lieu of serving up ads on the platform, which you will agree with me, has made it endearing to many, as you will not see those ‘annoying’ ads interfering with your communication while using the service. Should users start expecting to see ads due to this announcement? In a bit to answer users’ raised eyebrow concerning ads, the company said that the announcement does not mean they are introducing third party ads, but stated also that they “… 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…or with an airline…” It also said that they “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”.
I am certain this announcement would be very much welcomed by its large pool of users worldwide, as it is long expected. So keep enjoying your Whatsapp as the company tries to make it better.
WhatsApp Messenger was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo!. It is a proprietary cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones. It uses the Internet to send text messages, images, video, user location and audio media messages to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers. The name “WhatsApp” was used because it sounded like “what’s up. As of February 2016, WhatsApp had a user base of up to one billion, making it the most globally popular messaging application.
WhatsApp Inc. is based in Mountain View, California and has been acquired by Facebook Inc. on February 19, 2014, for approximately US$19.3 billion.