Whatsapp, the world’s largest mobile messaging company, announces that its service will remain free in developing countries such as India. As you know, Whatsapp charges users with an annual fee of $.99 after using the service for one year free.
Whatsapp’s Vice President, Neeraj Arora visited the Indian School of Business where he revealed the fact that the annual subscription for Whatsapp service will remain free within the counties.
In the same time, he mentioned the reason Whatsapp will remain free for a while in India. He stated that a low percentage of people own a credit card to make the payment online, which is also the reason most e-commerce websites have cash on delivery options.
The monetization of Whatsapp service in on cards and this is likely to occur in the next few years. The Vice President also stated that Whatsapp will choose user subscriptions over advertisements. Whatsapp is, and it will remain ad-free due to its status as a private messaging platform.
Once people get registered within the service, they will remain so, and no one will deny paying the subscription amount. Alternatively, the payment method should be convenient for each market and each country. Since very few people own credit cards in India, and most of them are afraid of performing an online payment, Whatsapp considered that an easier way of payment represents the best alternative in this case.
A good solution for this problem would be represented by a partnership between Whatsapp and telecom operators in India to get the payment via recharge. The messenger giant already works with carriers in bundling data plans that do not charge users for the service.
It is worth mentioning te fact that Whatsapp has a user database of 70 million within the country. That is a lot of users who will enjoy having Whatsapp for free on their smartphones, at least for a couple of years.