WhatsApp made a bold move today by announcing that they’d be dropping the $1 annual fee for their popular instant messaging platform. The fee, which was a very inexpensive charge after a very generous year-long free trial, supposedly made the barrier of entry too burdensome for some folks, particularly those who didn’t have a debit or credit card to be able to keep talking to their friends and family.
his should make the service a lot more approachable for those in that situation, and without the fear of losing the ability to communicate with your people WhatsApp stands to gain a lot more customer retention as a result.
So, what now? How will WhatsApp survive? Surely ads are coming, no? Well… no. Not yet, anyway. WhatsApp says they’re looking to test their service for a lengthy period of time without any paywalls or ads to be had. In fact, they have ambitious plans to extend the service this year by allowing you to contact businesses within the app, whether it’s checking on your bank account or flight status.
The details are scarce right now so we’ll have to wait for more information to see what exactly they’re planning to bring, but it sounds pretty good to us so far. We originally thought Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp might lead to dark things, but so far there’s been nothing but good. Let’s see if that trend continues in the years to come.