Within a couple of years, WhatsApp will become the first messaging app to hit one billion active users worldwide. The app has already reached the 700 million figure, far outpacing its competitors. Being the most popular app is always a nice distinction, but users of the platform continue to worry about subscription fees. For years now, users have dealt with rumors of increased subscription fees for using WhatsApp, and not everyone is happy about this potential change. Will the app start to charge its users for access?
WhatsApp Already DOES Charge A Subscription Fee
Most users don’t realize that a subscription fee does exist for WhatsApp. Since the app’s introduction, users have faced the possibility of paying an annual fee. Users in their first year of service don’t have to pay a fee because it’s waived. On the 366th day of use, an individual is charged $0.99 per year to utilize WhatsApp on their smartphone. The average person will pay this fee if they use the app long enough. It’s a small price to pay for a messaging app with so many features. Still, countless users don’t know about the eventual subscription fee.
A Small Monetary Sacrifice
Through the WhatsApp platform, users can keep in constant contact with each other. Fortunately, the app includes numerous messaging and calling features. A Web client is even available so that users can access their accounts while on a computer. More and more features continue to be added into WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook but kept separate from Facebook Messenger. Compared to other apps, this particular platform offers more features, better performance, and a larger user base by far.
Would WhatsApp charge by the call or message?
A growing number of users are concerned about having to pay for messages and calls by the message or minute. Of course, such a change in business model would help WhatsApp turn a hefty profit. Retaining even a small fraction of the current user base as a paying user base would result in millions of dollars in revenue. It’s hard to see the app making users pay on a per minute or message basis, though. In that case, most users would flee from the platform in favor of a completely free competitor.
Then again, WhatsApp has to turn a profit in one manner or another. The company could potentially raise its $0.99 annual subscription fee after the first year. Some users would stop utilizing the service, but others wouldn’t mind paying a dollar or two for service. Still, WhatsApp couldn’t raise the fee much higher than its current figure because most messaging platforms are 100% free. The last thing the company wants to do is alienate its user base and help its competitors gain an advantage in the market.
WhatsApp Not Changing Anytime Soon
At this point, chances are high that WhatsApp doesn’t raise its subscription price for annual use. The company could even do away with its $0.99 per year fee after year one. There are other ways WhatsApp could pull in revenue. In the end, users shouldn’t expect the company to start charging for individual calls and messages. Fees could be implemented for premium features and elsewhere, but even that seems a little unlikely for the time being.