WhatsApp has announced that it will axe its $1 annual subscription fee starting today. The Facebook-owned messaging service is nearing a billion users, and will start exploring alternate business models.
WhatsApp failed to monetize in emerging markets due to low debit and credit card penetration, which led to the service being offered for free. Today's announcement reflects a change of strategy that will see the platform acting as a facilitator between businesses and customers:
Facebook has already undertaken a similar strategy with Messenger, giving users the ability to chat with businesses. The feature will come in handy in countries like India, where WhatsApp is slowly becoming the de-facto method of communication.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.