WhatsApp has announced that it will no longer charge its users with annual subscription fees. The popular messaging app used to charge $0.99 per year after a free trial period of twelve months. The announcement, made official in a blog post on Monday, means that WhatsApp, or its parent company Facebook, is potentially forfeiting hundreds of millions in annual revenue.
The messenger app, particularly popular in Europe, parts of Asia and South America, not so much in the United States, has seen incredible growth over the past few years and is probably just weeks away from hitting the billion-user milestone.
In the announcement, WhatsApp emphasized that today’s changes will not affect the company’s stance on advertising, meaning that there won’t be any third-party ads in the app going forward. However, the company is exploring other ways of monetizing its huge user base, testing tools that will let users communicate with businesses and organizations via the app.