WhatsApp is now completely free

WhatsApp is dropping its $1 (R16.70) annual subscription fee, according to a report by Engadget.

The messaging service’s founder Jan Koum made the announcement at this year’s DLD conference, stating that the charge prevented many people from using WhatsApp.

“If WhatsApp wants to become the messaging service of the masses, it needs to be entirely free, much like most of its competition,” stated the report.

Koum said the annual fee “was not working well”.

The subscription change takes effect from 18 January, but will take “a week or two” to filter through to all versions of the app.

No refunds will be given to users who recently renewed their subscription, stated the report, while the company said it will not use in-app advertising to fund its operations.

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WhatsApp is now completely free