whatsapp-blackberry-q10When WhatsApp was first launched, it cost users $1 to purchase the app. The company later switched to a subscription program in which it would cost users $1 a year to subscribe, although the first year would be free. However it seems that after some trial and error, WhatsApp has finally decided to end the subscription once and for all.

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Speaking at the DLD conference in Munich, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum said,“It really doesn’t work that well. We just don’t want people to think at some point their communication to the world will be cut off.” So this means that WhatsApp is free, and like most free apps, there has to be a catch, right?

Some apps live by donations, others rely on in-app subscriptions, and some turn to ads. If you’re worried about the latter being true, you can rest assured that it isn’t. According to WhatsApp, “Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight.”

The company notes that since banks and airline companies already rely on SMS and phone calls, why not make WhatsApp the de-facto solution instead? “We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.”

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