Popular messaging service has announced this morning that they are no longer requiring users to pay an annual subscription fee. Starting today that fee of just a single dollar will be removed as WhatsApp begins exploring other business models.
It’s likely that the service made this change due to their failure to monetize in emerging markets since many of those potential users don’t have access to credit/debit cards. The first thing you might think is that this means advertisements are coming to the service, but the company has thankfully confirmed that this is not the case.
“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.”