In a blog post, Facebook-owned WhatsApp finally announced that it will be fully free! The minimal US$0.99 subscription fee (after free use for 1 year) is not longer applicable to all users. This is a great move by WhatsApp since many users have switched to other platforms once their free subscription is over. The growing competition actually comes from Telegram and WeChat which are available for free (although the later seems to be filled with ad-based texts messages).
The company stated that: “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.”
So, this is indeed a good news! But how long will it remain ad-free is still open for speculation since Facebook is known for making use of content-based ads.