WhatsApp Inc. is dropping its US1$ subscription fee as it’s set out to become the world’s largest encrypted communications service, says Chief Executive Jan Koum. And, instead of having a subscription for ads, the software company, headquartered in Mountain View, California, will experiment with making businesses like restaurants, airliners and credit card firms pay to reach their customers.
Their vision for making third party companies pay to reach their users is set on allowing them to reach their customers or clients with useful information, yet for non-commercial purposes. For example, an airliner could inform their customers if a flight has been delayed.
Even though the subscription is negligible WhatsApp acknowledges that it has hampered their growth, especially in third world countries, where the access to a banking system is deficient. Many of their users in these countries don’t even have a debit, or a credit card.
The Facebook-owned communications giant was purchased for 19.2 billion USD in 2014 and now it counts nearly 1 billion users. In the past year, Whatsapp has been working on offering end to end encryption services to all its user. In a move to ensure the privacy of its users, WhatsApp is facing further criticism from governments around the world.
Authorities in the US and Great Britain, among others, says WhatsApp’s and Apple’s iMessage’s end to end encryption are hindering their ability to monitor criminal suspects and militant plots. The authorities in these countries are threatening to pass new laws to block these encryptions.