WhatsApp is dropping its $1 per year subscription fee

WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned mobile messaging service, announced on Monday that it’s going to stop charging customers a subscription fee of 99 cents per year. The service is currently provided at no cost during its free year, after which customers are being charged 99 cents per year to continue using the service.

Over the course of coming weeks, everyone will be able to download and use WhatsApp on their device totally free of charge and without a subscription fee.

“For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year,” reads the post. “As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well.”

Dropping the fee takes away that concern, and allows users who cannot afford the $1 fee to use WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family. Recode reports that subscription fees won’t disappear immediately, but will be phased out over “a few weeks.”

There are now concerns about how else WhatsApp will make money, but theFacebook-owned business promises it won’t bother users with ads and other sponsored spam.

“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,” reads a WhatsApp blog post. “The answer is no.”

Instead, WhatsApp plans to introduce “tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations 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.”

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