SHORT: My Thoughts On WhatsApp Going Free and Why It’s Important

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The WhatsApp logo.

So, if you haven’t heard, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) previously cost $1 per year to keep in touch with friends and family using their app, which was quite cheap for a system that provides authentic, high-quality phone calls to it’s users. But on January 18, 2016, WhatsApp has announced that it’s completely removing any payments from the app forever.

WhatsApp said in a corporate blog post that they’ve removed the annual payment requirement because many of their users don’t actually have debit or credit cards. They instead use gift cards to refill their balance. The problem with paying using that method, however, is that once in a while you won’t actually have a dollar on your account at the worst time, right when you need to pay.
With mobile giants like Verizon and Sprint still serving up high bills in the mail every month (and the increased pressure on the consumer to sign up for services that keep you paying for a long time like AT&T Next), I think that even a discount as small as this one will be very beneficial to customers, and, if more services follow, might even be able to change the market.

Nicholas Lucchetto, The ESSAYER

 
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