WhatsApp, the popular messaging service that’s worth $19 billion has stated that it will be dropping its $1 annual fee. Now users will not be bothered with the subscription screen that they usually saw when they first sign up for the service on new phones.
The announcement was made during this year’s DLD conference by Whatsapp founder Jan Koum, as part of its move to remain the dominant instant messaging platform that works side-by-side with its parent Facebook, the world’s foremost social media giant.
Whatsapp Founder Explains Why He Removed The Subscription Fee
Jan Koum stated that regions where smartphone users do not have access to payment cards still exist and due to this limitation, these users won’t be able to enjoy the service if subscription fees come into the equation. This move is great news for the service’s users in developing markets, since they make up the major share of its users.
The changes will start taking place from today. However, people who previously subscribed to it won’t be offered a refund. Furthermore, Whatsapp will not display any ads for users as well, following the recent announcement to drop the annual fee.
With the Whatsapp devs currently working on a video calling feature, its no wonder that competitors are worried about WhatsApp’s continued dominance over the messaging market. Do you think that Skype and Tango and other similar video conferencing services are under threat from Whatsapp’s upcoming cross-platform video messaging feature?