The founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, today confirmed that the popular messaging service is dropping its $1 yearly subscription fee across all platforms. The founder hopes that by dropping the yearly subscription fee, WhatsApp will become more accessible to people who don’t have a credit card.
Koum said that the yearly subscription fee model “doesn’t work that well” and that the company does not “want people to think at some point their communication to the world will be cut off.” The yearly subscription fee will be phased off in the coming weeks and will not really be instantaneous.
Additionally, the founder promised that despite the removal of yearly subscription fee, WhatsApp will be free from third-party ads.
However, being a service, WhatsApp needs to earn revenue. For that, the company will start testing tools that will make it possible to use the messaging service to communicate with enterprises. For example, the company wants you to use WhatsApp to confirm the status of your delayed flight from your airline company directly in the future.
This strategy is similar to what WeChat has implemented in China and what Facebook does with its Messenger platform.