Today WhatsApp dropped the $1 (70p) annual fee. This fee is charged after the first free year. The company explained 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 credit card number and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year.”
Bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, WhatsApp has around 900 million users worldwide. The company has said it will not replace the subscription fee with third-party apps so this shouldn’t affect user experience. One way they will earn a revenue stream from is enabling users to communicate with businesses and organisations that they want to hear from. This is something the company say they have in the pipeline.