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Photo: Microsiervos. Licensed under (CC BY 2.0)

Popular Facebook app becomes free

Facebook announced last Monday that its messaging platform, WhatsApp, will no longer charge a fee and will instead be free for all users of the popular social…

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Facebook announced last Monday that its messaging platform, WhatsApp, will no longer charge a fee and will instead be free for all users of the popular social networking site to use. 

Facebook believed that a charging subscription for the app had not been best for business and that it was time to do away with the process, Forbes reported. Facebook plans to introduce tools that will allow users to communicate with businesses through WhatsApp. 

Until now, WhatsApp has been free for the first year and 99 cents per year after the first year trial. It has been most popular with those who wish to stay in contact with their families in other countries. This move will likely cause the app to gain more of a following. Similarly, the same idea was built behind the Facebook Messenger App. Users can already talk to businesses and Facebook is still continuing to build out the app’s other features. 

It will likely take a few weeks until charges are wiped from all versions of the app.

“Naturally, people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today's announcement means we're introducing third-party ads,” WhatsApp wrote on their online blog. “The answer is no. 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. 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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