The much-loved messaging service WhatsApp, has announced in a blog post that they will be making their product 100% free.
The app, which is used by nearly a billion people around the world, is currently free to download. However some subscribers are asked to pay a fee after using the service for a year.
Now, the company has admitted that the subscription model simply didn’t work:
“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,” reads the blog post. “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.”
WhatsApp, however, won’t be gaining revenue through ads. Instead there are plans to test new tools that allow users to interact with companies they want to hear from, such as your bank to communicate about fraudulent transactions, or an airline to see if your flight is delayed.
Whatsapp was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for about $16 billion. Previous to this change, the app charged $0.99 a year for users to continue using the service.