• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

WhatsApp completely removes subscription fees

WhatsApp

Popular instant messaging application, WhatsAppp, with close to a billion users has recently announced it will no longer require users to pay subscription fees which ought to be paid after every first year of free usage.

To many people in Nigeria, this may not be considered news as they have never been aware they really had to pay to use WhatsApp, others, while aware have been using the service for free as the company has continually made it open a such.

The statement released by WhatsApp captures some of these sentiments as it states, “For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well.

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.

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.”

The company, which was acquired by Face book in 2014 for $19 billion, has maintained it will not adopt the use of third party adverts as its revenue source.

While this may come as bad news of some sort for advertising companies who may have been thinking of leveraging the
platform to reach hundreds of millions of people, it is good news for corporate entities.

A statement on the company’s website reads, “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. Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations 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.”

Businesses in Nigeria are expected to take advantage of the customer service potentials this announcement offers in optimum service delivery.

The use of WhatsApp by millions of Nigerians will imply ease
of access by businesses planning to reach their customers regularly; without spamming. Customers will expect to catch up fight updates directly from airlines they have made bookings, bank transactions and other purchase related updates which will keep them in more control of their time and resources.

 

CALEB OJEWALE