In a blog post on Monday WhatsApp announced they will be making WhatsApp free for everyone and are testing new tools for allowing users to communicate with businesses that you want to hear from, emphasising the want.

Currently WhatsApp have charged subscription fees to some users after the first year. WhatsApp stated they would make WhatsApp free for all users rolling out over the next several weeks. This doesn’t mean they will be recouping that money through advertising either, they explicitly say they will not do that, though that’s not to say it may change in future.

Some users would have already received notifications on their mobile saying “WhatsApp service extended. New expiration date is Lifetime.” as I received below.

whatsapp expiration

WhatsApp also say they will be testing new tools for businesses to communicate with consumers via WhatsApp. The example they mention include communicating with your bank about a fraudulent transaction or hearing from your airline about a delayed flight. Perhaps they will charge business for the service in some way to make up for the loss in subscription fees.

WhatsApp owned by Facebook has over a billion monthly active users, I also wrote recently how Facebook announced their messenger service now has 800 million monthly active users. This puts Facebook and WhatsApp in a prime position to dominate this space.

Of course Facebook already have Businesses on Messenger which allows business to connect and chat directly to consumers, it’s easy to see how they can replicate something similar for WhatsApp.

Google were also seen to be testing their own live chat for businesses directly from search last year, though there hasn’t been much activity on that since.

Watch this space marketers!

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.