WhatsApp is the messaging medium of choice for many people in both Ireland and abroad.
A survey last year revealed that more than a third of Irish adults had downloaded the app, with half of that number using it every day.
And now, as the company approaches the 1bn-user mark, its CEO announced at DLD in Munich that it is to scrap its subscription model, which saw users pay $0.99 per annum after an initial year of free use, for an entirely free model.
WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum insisted that did not mean that WhatsApp users would now be subjected to ads, but rather said the company is looking at others ways of monetising its product.
“Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organisations that you want to hear from,” he said in a blog post.
“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.”
Founded in 2009, acquired by Facebook for $19bn in 2014, and hitting the 900m user mark in September last year, WhatsApp’s growth has been truly phenomenal, as this infographic from Statista illustrates.
WhatsApp image via Shutterstock