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WhatsApp Now Free ($1 Annual Fee Being Dropped)

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Over the next few weeks, the popular chat app will become totally free.

WhatsApp, the $19 billion dollar messaging service is dropping its $1 annual fee. Founder Jan Koum revealed the news on stage at this year's DLD conference, explaining that the buck-a-year charge might not sound like much, but still prevents many people from using the service

Previously WhatsApp was free for the first year, then $0.99/year thereafter: "For all phone types, WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After a year, you have the option of extending your subscription for $0.99 USD per year."

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closed Comments

  • +163 votes

    I've never actually had to pay since I first installed it a few years ago. The free-use counter keeps resetting.

    • +29 votes

      Hijacking comment to warn everyone to turn back now

      about 1000 comments saying that whatsapp has never bugged them to pay

      …because we didnt get that already from the first 2000 comments saying the same thing

    • +4 votes

      This app used to be free, with no subscription. Those who downloaded it back then should always have a life time subscription.

      • +1 vote

        This is true, it does apply to me, I have a lifetime subscription! Yet, I have never paid for it.

    • +5 votes

      FB is not a charity to offer WhatsApp or FB for free. The data they get in terms of demography and usage, that's worth a fortune. Probably why they're making it free to keep us using the service.
      If in doubt, google how does FB/WhatsApp earn money :)

      BTW I use WhatsApp to too and will probably pay if I have to.

    • +2 votes

      I've been told it's related to the region you're in. My understanding is that the free-use counter always reset for Australian users. Not the same in other countries.

  • +32 votes

    Its always been free

  • +8 votes

    Just like mIRC, it's free. What's mIRC you may ask.

  • +5 votes

    Well, if this is a deal then I'm Malcolm Turnbull.

    •  

      you can always change your name by Dee-poll

      • +13 votes

        "deed poll" - a defunct (since 1 November 1986) mechanism for formally changing one's legal name.

        No longer used in Australia. Now you apply for a "Change of Name Certificate" with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (with the usual array of paperwork and fees and (presumably) red tape) and, if it's approved, you then get said certificate and get to take it around to everyone you have some sort of account or license with to have them change their records.

  • +5 votes

    I've never had to pay for this

  • +3 votes

    Never paid for the service and never will

    BTW this is an announcement and belongs in the forums

  • +3 votes

    Since when was there a cost to Whatsapp?

  • +1 vote

    it has always been free since i started using it few years back…

  • -2 votes

    Always been free. Not a deal.

  • +2 votes

    https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/general/23014681

    What are WhatsApp's subscription fees?
    We want WhatsApp to be about communication with your friends and family, so we don't bother you with ads. Read more about our stance on advertisements here. We do have small subscription fees, however. Please note that WhatsApp will never automatically charge you for your subscription.

    For all phone types, WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After a year, you have the option of extending your subscription for $0.99 USD per year.

    Subscriptions are cumulative. When you pay for an additional year of service, it is added to your current subscription or free year-long trial. There is no difference between the free and paid versions of WhatsApp other than the length of service.

  • +6 votes

    let us continue to repeat ourselves in an orderly fashion as an ozbargain collective so others may see the real goal here and continue this short lived tradition

  • +2 votes

    Like many other users here, I've never had to pay anything for it.

  •  

    cant believe there are cheapskates in the world who won't even pay $1 to use such excellent app..

    • +37 votes

      someone take Droid11's ozbargain licence…. I'll hold him down!

      • +20 votes

        I feel a bit sick knowing I breathe the same air as him.

      • +2 votes

        @bonky Don't be silly, there is no such thing as a ozbargain license. License costs money.

      • +2 votes

        It's 1 dollar over a year, not per month FFS. Honestly Google reward would have given me far more credit to cover for that…

        I know a bargain when I see one, but not when it's a saving of FREAKING 1 DOLLAR OVER A YEAR!

        •  

          I might also add, we can't always just take, gotta give back sometimes. It's what makes the world goes around. Appreciate the savings when you get one, but give back when it's due..To me, that's the true virtue of an Ozbargainer. Just like don't just leech for BT, seeding is what keeping BT running..

        •  

          @Droid11

          Trust me, buddy. I konw someone who has stopped using whatsapp because they were gonna charge him $1.

    • +2 votes

      cant believe there are cheapskates in the world who won't even pay $1 to use such excellent app..

      It's not about being cheapskates. In theory, you're supposed to be able to use the app for a year, then it asks for a 99cent payment. In reality it updates periodically, and what seems to happen is that the year then begins again, so for most people it never actually asks for that payment for them to be able to do so.

    •  

      There are many excellent chatting apps, most do not charge anything, except of you want certain extra emotions…

    •  

      I never even bothered to try it cause why pay anything (wasn't aware it was apparently technically free for some anyway) for something when when skype, facebook and iMessage do the same thing for free.

      The announcement made me have a look again but lack of non phone device support makes whatsapp virtually useless to me (skype and facebook have o such limitations), so its still not even worth free in my book.

      • -1 vote

        but lack of non phone device support makes whatsapp virtually useless to me

        It's the reverse for me - the phone number-based signup makes it very easy for everyone to sign up, which makes it more useful as everyone is on it, including people I don't want to add as friends on facebook or Skype.

        •  

          And if you live on your phone thats fine, but when your at a PC for 8+ hours a day, why would you want to have to message on your phone instead of on a desktop. They could at least have it so once you setup an account on your phone, you can use it on desktop, but no they don't support it, which is stupid. Skype may be rubbish but its still the best truly universal messaging service.

          I agree FB Messenger is has the FB friend limitation, i'm very selective about people i add to FB.

        •  

          @TrendyTim: WhatsApp was not designed for people to use on their PC - it was designed to be a phone-to-phone app that's really easy to set up. It definitely succeeded at that. It probably wouldn't be anywhere as popular if a traditional computer-type signup was required.

          They could at least have it so once you setup an account on your phone, you can use it on desktop, but no they don't support it, which is stupid.

          https://web.whatsapp.com/

        •  

          @eug:

          That must be newish, even so still a shitty experience, there are some apps that really benefit from a full blown app instead of a website based approach, chat is one of them, but i suppose that at least puts them on par with facebook messaging and you have to use your phone to login that is gimmiky but i prefer the old fashioned way.

          Would it kill them to make a mac and windows version ?

        •  

          @TrendyTim:

          WhatsApp Web was launched in January last year.

          WhatsApp obviously isn't suited for you, so just delete it and enjoy whatever else works for you. Keep in mind that different people have different requirements and needs - not everything has to be created to suit your needs specifically. And looking at the popularity of WhatsApp along with its US$19 billion sale, clearly a lot of other people have different requirements to you.

          you have to use your phone to login that is gimmiky but i prefer the old fashioned way.

          The very easy, low-friction phone login method that doesn't require any personal information is very likely the reason why WhatsApp is so successful. No need to remember passwords, no need to enter in your name, even.

          I'm sure they could create a desktop app, but seeing as they're already so successful, it's probably not a priority.

          Official stats shows that 44% of Facebook's active user base (Jul 2015) access FB only via mobile - up from ~18% in Q2 2013. That's a lot of people who don't care about a desktop app at all.

    • +1 vote

      Hardly an excellent app. It's been prone to security flaws. One of which was the infamous MITM due to the lack of SSL.

      Poor design, and poor implementation. Yet people still paid for it… Hilarious!

      •  

        Yep, I've uninstalled it a long time ago due to security concerns..

      •  

        Poor design, and poor implementation. Yet people still paid for it… Hilarious!

        …because no other paid software has ever had security flaws, right?

  • +13 votes

    Now free because they are recording & selling the contents of the messages / calls to advertisers!

  • +1 vote

    hoestly it doesn't bother me Cz I use wechat which is far more better

    • +2 votes

      wechat is Chinese. Their government is hacking every thing that can be hacked. They probably have full direct access to everything that happens on wechat. If you think your chat is private and secure, think again. They are probably on the par with NSA, if not worse.

      • +9 votes

        Yea..China is the only government monitoring world citizens

        •  

          You're comparing one of the world's "champion" of freedom (whether you agree or not), vs a country where one party rules and opposition is not tolerated. Human rights? …Well, hey now look at our neighbour North Korea… See! We can't be thaaat bad! We are doing well!

          FYI China has a "citizen score" that affects their peoples everyday lives -credit ratings, job opportunities, social memberships etc. Now don't tell me that the US is as bad as this.

          http://www.computerworld.com/article/2990203/security/aclu-o...

        • -3 votes

          @OZBargain Police: never heard of it.the American website claims that it will be in effect in 2020. Despite what you may have read, my personal experience living in China showed me that many Chinese people live a very similar life to modern western society. But do believe everything you read without hearing every side of the story, you'll go far.

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