WhatsApp doing away with fee

2016-01-21 06:00

POPULAR instant messaging application WhatsApp is doing away with its $0,99 (R16,59) annual fee as it explores new services.

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum made the announcement at the Digital-Life-Design conference in Munich, Germany, this week.

The messaging service, which was bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, has also explained the move in a blog post. “For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year,” says the WhatsApp blog post.

“As we’ve grown, we’ve found this approach hasn’t worked well. 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,” the blog post adds.

Since its launch in 2009, WhatsApp has been free of advertisements and it’s move to drop its subscription fee will prompt questions about its business model. But it plans to keep its service ad-free and explore other services.

In South Africa, WhatsApp has 10 million users, according to a report by World Wide Worx and Fuseware. SA mobile networks have asked Parliament to probe possible regulation of over-the-top services in South Africa.

- Fin24.

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