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WhatsApp to scrap annual fee

WhatsApp is to drop its annual subscription fee
WhatsApp is to drop its annual subscription fee

WhatsApp users have received some good news today.

The hugely popular Facebook-owned messaging service is dropping its e1 annual subscription fee to go free for all users.

Speaking at a conference in Germany, WhatsApp chief Jan Koum said the annual fee would be scrapped immediately, and the service would become completely free to all users.

Previously the app had been free for the first year before users were asked to pay for every subsequent year.

WhatsApp also confirmed that the removal of fees does not mean they are introducing ads to the service, with Mr Koum instead saying the app will look to monetise through businesses communicating with individuals.

"That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight," said WhatsApp in an accompanying blogpost.

Jan Koum, the CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp

"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."

Facebook bought WhatsApp for 19 billion US dollars (£13.2 billion) in 2014, and says the subscription fee has harmed growth in developing countries, where the app has become hugely popular.