The days of changing your phone number in order to avoid paying the $0.99/year WhatsApp subscription fees are over, folks! On Monday, WhatsApp made the announcement that the company will no longer charge for its WhatsApp app across all mobile platforms. According to the company, their reasoning for ending the subscription fee is because this subscription model is not suitable for many of its users, and it greatly affects the growth of the app – as users hop to another communication app once they see that they don’t have a credit card or a debit card to pay the $0.99 fee.
As usual, if an internet-based service is free, it’s actually supported through ads. For WhatsApp this will not be the case. The company stated that they will not ad third-party ads to the app. However, they will add a new system to allow users to communicate with companies or organization straight from the app. This will work like companies currently use Twitter as a live support page.
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.
And for those wondering, no, you will not get a refund if you recently paid for the app.