At last, WhatsApp is now completely free

Update: Lifetime subscriptions issued, rescinded
At last, WhatsApp is now completely free

WhatsApp announced on January 19 that it will drop its subscription fee to become an entirely free service. The company looks to replace lost income from this move by allowing businesses to use the service to communicate directly with users. The following day, many users received a push notification migrating them to the lifetime subscription, but some reported being immediately rolled back. Find out more below.

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WhatsApp: now free for all. / © ANDROIDPIT

Update: WhatsApp issued a push notification to many, if not all, Android app users this morning, migrating the service to a lifetime subscription. A number of users reported a subsequent push notification that announced a rollback to the previous subscription.

I did not receive the second notification from WhatsApp, and I remain on a lifetime subscription, but it seems a large number of users did see their lifetime subscription rescinded. If you were unfortunate enough to be rolled back, we can only presume that it's a temporary error or a solution to a problem that WhatsApp is working on fixing. We'll let you know more as soon as we find out. 

WhatsApp has, for some time now, charged users US$0.99 a year after the first year of use. The sum is small and many long-standing users were made exempt even from this charge, but now WhatsApp is dropping the fee entirely.

The change may take a few weeks to take effect across different versions of the app, and users who incur fees in the meantime unfortunately have no choice but to pay.

In a blog post, WhatsApp said that the reason for the move stemmed from concern for users who don't have access to a credit or debit card, or who have one but lack the funds at the time of the fee being requested, losing access to the service. 

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The move makes WhatsApp more competitive. / © ANDROIDPIT

With nearly a billion users globally, the revenue that WhatsApp can expect from even a small annual subscription fee is significant. To cover this loss, WhatsApp plans to charge businesses to contact its users directly, so long as users opt in.

If you already use WhatsApp, how do you feel about the decision? If you don't, are you now more likely to give it a try? Share your views in the comments. 

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  • WhatsApp extended lifetime service, because anyway no one ever paid a cent for this...
    I don't know anbody who ever has paid.

  •   24
    Deactivated Account Jan 20, 2016 Link to comment

    Also received my lifetime subscription. But it seems carriers vodacom and mtn is asking that OTT software must pay them (carriers) money as the carriers feel that they don't make money off of OTT's like Whatsapp. Well I just feel people pay for mobile data and it's really expensive here in south africa so I don't know why the carriers are complaining. Itmight be that Whatsapp isn't free for much longer here in south africa as the government now are intervening in the matter (Hope nobody mind that I added a link to news24/fin24 a newspaper site here in south africa to show what is happening)

  • Got the 1st notification for lifetime, then after sometime, 2nd notification for roll back. After about 6 hours when I checked, received a 3rd notification giving me lifetime and no change since then, i.e, for the last 8 hours!
    So it took 3 notifications for me!

  • Got the first notification, but why the role back on some users?

  • Got d notification too

  • Got the lifetime notification yesterday and thats it no other. Otifications

  • Sounds Good to me!

  • vicky Jan 20, 2016 Link to comment

    I would have paid 100 bucks to have it in my nexus

  • Khalid Jan 20, 2016 Link to comment

    Got the notification of Life time service expended of what's app
    enjoy :)

  •   18
    Deactivated Account Jan 19, 2016 Link to comment

    Making money for them is not an herculean task. They have strong team to take good care after all it is owned by Facebook. US$19 billion is not small amount. For sure Facebook has strategies to recover it.

    Deactivated Account

  •   18
    Deactivated Account Jan 19, 2016 Link to comment

    Today I reinstall it in my device and it stated that 6months subscription left. 1year subscription amount reflected Rs.55/-

  • Then how the hell are they going to make money? Even now I don´t think they are very profitable. The only solution I see is that they become a Line´s clone.

  • terrible...
    I had a time limited creditcard (u pay like 15 euro and have to spend that within like 2 months and after that whatever left can't be used ant more) .
    So. . After buying all apps I really needed there were a few euro left wich u used for paying WhatsApp until the year 2020!
    I already have sent an email towards WhatsApp about this matter supposing I will not be the only one on earth having this done.

  • I am using whatsapp for nearly 3 years.
    It never ask for a cent.

  • Ive bieng using wtsp for a long time and i never had to pay

  • I am using WhatsApp from last 3 year but never paid any penny for it

  • market like india it was always free....every year validity increased at its own

  • I wouldn't mind if WhatsApp continued the subscription scheme, but if they are dropping the scheme, then I could get an extra icon pack a year from the Play Store ! :-D

    BTW, I am using secure messengers more these days, Signal and Threema. WhatsApp really needs to get high scores on EFF Scorecard to impress users like me! :)

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