Home / Technology / WhatsApp Ditches $1 Annual Fee, Tests Business Accounts But No Ads, Says CEO

WhatsApp Ditches $1 Annual Fee, Tests Business Accounts But No Ads, Says CEO


Today during a DLD conference in Munich, Germany, a CEO of Facebook-owned WhatsApp done a confederate of big announcements about how a messaging app plans to develop to a subsequent proviso as it approaches 1 billion users: a association skeleton to dump a $0.99 annual subscription fee, and it will start to exam out some-more blurb services — privately a B2C business for companies to promulgate with their customers.

The B2C business is in a contrast proviso now, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said, with a concentration on vast corporate business like Bank of America.

The subscription price — that used to flog in after a year of giveaway use — might be getting scrapped in preference of choice revenues. But this won’t embody ads, Koum said.

“We’re going to get absolved of a $1 subscription,” Koum said, after admitting that a backup business indication — courting corporates to build B2C services — is still flattering nascent. “We haven’t created a singular line of code, [but we wish to] make certain people know this is not about ads in a product,” he said.

If we recall, when Facebook announced it would acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion almost dual years ago, both companies were unequivocal about not putting ads into WhatsApp and pity user information with blurb entities.

WhatsApp last updated a user numbers — who bond to a use by approach of their mobile phone numbers, a prohibited integrate in a space where app developers oftentimes don’t “know” their users that good — during 900,000 this past September. This profile in Wired records that currently a tangible series is around 990 million. That is a tantalizing volume of scale for a digital promotion business, creation a joining to no ads all a some-more engaging to watch to see how and if it ever bends or gets dropping altogether.

In any case, given we have not had most clarity on what subscription fees brought to WhatsApp’s bottom line,  it is not clear how large of a revenue cove will outcome for WhatsApp from scrapping subscription fees. Anecdotally, we have been regulating a app for a while and can't remember ever profitable to do so. Several others have remarkable a same to me.

The reason for scrapping a price might be some-more than simply relocating to a opposite income model, too. The messaging app margin is very, really crowded, with many lookalike apps charity radically a same functionality — to WhatsApp supplement Facebook’s possess Messenger, WeChat, Line, Viber and some-more — and many others that are charity their possess takes on a elementary grounds — for instance Snapchat with a image-based fleeting notes, or Wickr and Telegram with their ephemeral, encrypted services.

On a B2C front, there is also a spook of competitors from other directions. Slack, for example, has focused especially on messaging for teams within companies as good as looser, like-minded communities. Today, users can already confederate other CRM apps to use Slack to conduct patron interactions, though it seems like an apparent pierce for a startup to build out a local product like this to conduct those interactions itself.

Turning behind to WhatsApp, we have no information nonetheless about how most WhatsApp would assign businesses to be a partial of this new B2C effort.

The commercial service, Koum said, will start in a form of a test. “Starting this year, we will exam collection that concede we to use WhatsApp to promulgate with businesses and organizations that we wish to hear from,” Koum said. He named Bank of America and American Airlines as dual probable companies that would be operative with WhatsApp. It sounds like there are around 10-30 businesses already articulate to WhatsApp for a service.

“We wish to build things that are utilitarian, that allows a company like American Airlines or Bank of America to promulgate good by a messaging app like WhatsApp,” he said.

The review on theatre also lonesome how Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp were opposite from any other. Indeed, Messenger, that has 800 million users, is also operative on how to build services with businesses.

“I consider there is some aspect of a geographic split,” Koum said, with WhatsApp quite clever in building markets and Europe. “It’s [also] about user experience,” he added. He was not asked about, nor did he address, a fact that Messenger is also building business tools, as good as a possess intranet messaging use around Facebook during Work.

“Facebook is a small opposite in terms of UX, stickers and things we don’t have,” Koum continued. “What we find interestingly adequate is that we might consider messaging is singular though it’s not people find some-more bandwidth to use opposite things that are out there.”

Facebook — around WhatsApp and a possess Messenger product — is not a usually one perplexing to figure out ways of leveraging free messaging services to build blurb operations in other ways. Twitter has been operative with a series of companies operative on ways to build CRM tools for companies who might start open interactions with users to take those conversations into a DM channel and integrate adult patron and Twitter accounts to offer them some-more efficiently.

In many cases, a collection that companies like Facebook and Twitter are perplexing to build are healthy and apparent extensions of how a platforms are being used already as ways of gripping people some-more closely tied to their platforms, and presumably creation a small income out of it in a process.

In terms of other new WhatsApp products to come, the company is also operative on adding some-more encryption.

“We’ve been doing it without people even realising it’s happening,” he said, rather alarmingly. He says “we are still there a confederate months away” from all your messages being end-to-end encrypted though that is a goal. It will be, Koum said. “the largest designation for end-to-end given a user bottom and how many people we have [using WhatsApp].”

Koum didn’t address, and he was not asked, about a fact that WhatsApp had been restraint links to one pretender encrypted messaging app, Telegram. However, the fact a WhatsApp is building a possess encryption collection could be a elementary reason why: it might be a lot smaller, though Telegraph is still competition.

It’s not transparent if WhatsApp skeleton to assign for additional services, such as special encryption, as partial of a new income strategy.

Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/18/whatsapp-free-business/

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