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WhatsApp just ended subscription fees

WhatsApp just ended subscription fees
image courtesy of Wired/ Shutterstock

If you use your smartphone to communicate a lot, or you have a family member who's in their teens or 20s, you're familiar with messaging apps. Instead of texting, emailing, or logging onto social media websites like Facebook, you just tap on an app to send a message.

Messenger apps are hugely popular, including Facebook's Messenger, which has 700-plus million subscribers. Facebook also owns WhatsApp, which has been around in one form or another for 20 years. WhatsApp users send more than 1 billion messages every day.

WhatsApp is an almost-free messenger app. Specifically, it has cost subscribers just under $1 to subscribe each year to the service, after a complimentary first year.

However, WhatsApp is even dropping that nominal fee. Soon, you won't have to pay anything to use it. That's according to WhatsApp founder, Jan Koum, who recently spoke about the change at a conference.

"We just don't want people to think, at some point, their communication to the world will be cut off." He said the pay-subscription model doesn't work well, in part because credit cards aren't commonplace in some parts of the world.

Next page: WhatsApp easing toward Facebook model
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