Some time ago WhatsApp announced that it would be charging users for the use of WhatsApp on a yearly basis, but this week they did a U-turn on this, announcing that they will be moving back to the free model.
It’s currently unclear how the messaging app plans to finance itself after this change however, WhatsApp has claimed that they are making every effort to avoid spam or unwanted advertising to do this.
“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. The answer is no,” it said in a blog post.
“Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organisations 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.”
“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.”
So it sounds like WhatsApp plans to fund the service by allowing businesses to set-up accounts to communicate with their customers via WhatsApp.
This is a similar system to what Facebook Messenger currently uses.