WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum has announced that the 99 cents annual will no longer be applied, but the application will introduce a new revenue stream, and the business model involves connecting companies directly with users. So, how is this change affecting the users?
Jan Koum attended the Digital-Life-Design Conference in Munich, where he made the announcement. WhatsApp have been in our lives since 2009 and now it can be downloaded on mobile devices running on Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia Series 40, Symbian, Tizen and it has 1 billion active users. The application offers many useful features, including free voice calling, sending messages containing texts, images, videos and audio files, sharing location, contacts, making group chats, backing up chats on Google Drive etc.
In the first year of use, WhatsApp was free, then an annual fee of $0.99 was applied in order to keep the account. But this subscription was needed in order to keep the application ad-free. Since Facebook Messenger is completely free, WhatsApp’s founder said that this fee will be removed, but it will be replaced with a different method to make money for the company. Companies will promote themselves better, by connecting with users via the application, although, until now, WhatsApp hasn’t settled on a final plan.
Apparently, multi-national companies will be charged to conduct customer service chats and calls via this application. And to give an example, when airline companies will cancel or delay flights, they will contact customers to inform them about the change.
This means that WhatsApp will continue to be ad-free and spam will be avoided, and the messaging firm confirmed that in an official blog post: “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.”
Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner participated at a technology conference in Boston, where he said that the company might use business-to-consumer (B2C) integration.