WhatsApp Removes Annual Subscription Fee

Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp leads the online chat platform with nearly 1 billion monthly active users, but still continues to lure more users.

The app charges a small annual subscription fee of $0.99 for some of its users after the first year of usage. You may not have experienced the subscription fee and may be wondering. Well, the app offered a free lifetime service to most of its original users. Recent users are asked to subscribe to the service after one year of free access.

However, the company might ditch the policy soon, the company’s founder Jan Koum confirmed. He said the policy has not worked well since a huge number of users lack debit or credit cards and the company does not intend to cut their connection with family and friends. Mr. Koum was speaking in Munich where he attended a Digital-Life-Design Conference. Koum said the company is considering a business based means of maintaining the app after eradicating the annual fee.

The company plans to connect firms directly with the users through the app, charging the companies for the services in the process. Mr. Koum, however, said they have not reached a final decision- temporarily WhatsApp will charge multi-national companies for customer chat and calls services. For instance, an airline communicates to its customers about some inconveniences like flight revocation or some delays, they will be able to do that over the app, he emphasized.