WhatsApp goes free

News

WhatsApp has dropped its 69p annual charge...
by
WhatsApp goes free

WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service, has decided to drop its 69p annual subscription, making the app completely free.

With around a billion people using the app every month, dropping the small charge is set to cost the Facebook-owned instant messenger a lot of money. So does that mean WhatsApp will now serve you up ads?

Nope, the company has been very clear that it won’t start selling ad space in the app. Instead, WhatsApp wants to become the go-to service for contacting your bank, energy company and other businesses.

WhatsApp’s announcement said: “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 [sic] 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.”

Why has WhatsApp gone free?

So why does WhatsApp think we can’t afford its 69p subscription? Well, it points to its big growth markets in the developing world.

Cheap smartphones are opening up opportunities for the world’s poorest people, and free communication is key to that. Many people around the world don’t have bank accounts, debit cards or credit cards, making it impossible for them to subscribe to WhatsApp under the company’s current fee-paying model.

“Many WhatsApp users don't have a debit or credit card number and they worried they'd lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we'll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service,” said WhatsApp.

Getting a high-quality app for free is always good news, so we couldn’t be happier with WhatsApp’s decision. Let’s just hope the company keeps its word and doesn’t get tempted by ads that would ruin the experience.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Following a press conference on 13 July 2015, the prime minister wants online instant messaging serv
With over 2.2 billion smartphone users worldwide, Carphone Warehouse and HTC wanted to find out whic
New features are being added to your favourite apps all the time. To make sure you don't miss out, h

24 April, 2018
The Samsung Galaxy A8 is an affordable mid-range smartphone with some truly flagship...
20 April, 2018
There are some great new Nokia Android smartphones on the way in 2018. Which one...
19 April, 2018
It’s the season of the clear out, and what better way to kick things off than by...
18 April, 2018
The Nokia 7 Plus is a big, beautiful smartphone with a fantastic display and great...
17 April, 2018
At the moment, a lot of new phones are rocking a super slo-mo camera. But what things...

12 April, 2018
If you find yourself confused by the mention of 5G, don't worry. We answer any questions...
9 April, 2018
Check out the brilliant new Sony Xperia XZ2, out now at Carphone Warehouse. It’s...
27 March, 2018
Huawei has just announced its new P20 smartphone series at its Paris event today....
16 March, 2018
We invited our favourite grime legend Big Narstie along to Carphone Warehouse HQ...
2 March, 2018
Following another successful Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we're rounding up...
25 February, 2018
Check out all the brand new features on the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ soon available...
25 February, 2018
Nokia has an exciting collection of new smartphones – The Nokia 1, Nokia 6, Nokia...
21 February, 2018
The BBC has launched a spectacular new augmented reality app, Civilisations AR, to...
9 February, 2018
We've got some great news for fans of role-playing games. Final Fantasy XV Pocket...
6 February, 2018
Android Oreo is Google's latest operating system, and it's rolling out to all the...
26 January, 2018
Samsung has posted a Tweet teasing details of its Barcelona Unpacked event, where...
19 January, 2018
Amazon Echo Spot is available to buy from our sister company, Currys PC World from...