WhatsApp no longer has the $1 annual subscription fee, and it is now free to the users worldwide. Until the change policy occurred, the popular app was free to use the first year, but after that an annual fee of just $1 (70 p in the United Kingdom or AU$1.45 in Australia) had to be paid.
WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton in 2009. The two founders were employed at Yahoo and left the company in 2007. They applied for jobs at Facebook but were rejected. After many struggles, they managed to create the app that would become one of the most famous in the world. The three biggest competitors of WhatsApp are WeChat, that has 468 million users, Viber with 209 million users and LINE with 170 million users. According to TIMES, WhatsApp is for mobile phones SMS what is Skype for the international landline calling. 10% of WhatsApp total users are located in India, and in 2014 there were more than 70 million users of the app in India.
The company explained its change of heart in a blog post. Apparently, the company discovered that this wasn’t the best approach, as many WhatsApp users don’t even have a credit or debit card. So these users who are mostly younger were concerned that they would lose their access to their friends and family after the one year free subscription would expire.
WhatsApp is one of the most used messaging apps in the world, along with Viber, LINE and WeChat. All of these apps grew famous once the 3G access to Internet became available. In 2014, Facebook bough the service for $19 billion and right now 900 million people worldwide are using it. This puts WhatsApp on top of the other messaging apps.
Even though some users are worried that the company will now replace the $1 dollar annual fee with ads, the company’s representatives addressed those concerns and said that this will not happen. The introduction of the ads is a method used by many free apps in order to make profits.
As WhatsApp no longer has the $1 annual subscription fee, a change will occur though, but for the better. In the near future, you will be able to communicate with various companies and organizations. You will be enabled to communicate with an airline if you lost your flight for example.
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