Jan 19, 2016 04:00 AM EST
WhatsApp chat messaging service will be cancelling its subscription fee and will explore other ways to regain its lost revenue instead, according to its Chief Executive Jan Koum on Monday. The waiving of fees will take effect over the next few weeks.
WhatsApp usually charge its users an annual fee of $1 after their first year. But during the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany, its co-founder announced that the company decided to remove the fee because it is impractical. Moreover, instead of flooding the app with annoying promotions, spam chats and third-party ads, the company promises it will seek other ways to connect with customers through the app.
In a statement posted on WhatsApp blog, it stated that it found that the system is not convenient for everyone, noting that a number of its users do not have debit or credit cards to pay for the fee. It will also keep subscribers from worrying that they might get disconnected with their friends and family after the first year.
Furthermore, the company stated that beginning this year, they will start testing tools to allow WhatsApp to communicate with organizations and businesses. For instance, contacting a user's respective bank for some possible fraudulent transactions or getting in touch with the airline for flight status.
So far, WhatsApp is reportedly coming to terms with 10 to 30 companies, and possible establishments that will join the app include Bank of America and American Airlines. The company believes that putting together these commercial services or the so-called commercial-participation model will make WhatsApp the one-stop communication spot for its 900 million users.
Meanwhile, Koum claimed that these new platforms still needs to undergo testing before being fully implemented. After it has been acquired by Facebook, the company said that they are now focused on improving and enhancing the product rather than making sure it profits.
Instead of worrying about revenues, its aim is now focused on ensuring that the app remains useful to people.