January 18, 2016

WhatsApp plans to drop its annual subscription fee as it looks for other ways to make up for the lost revenue, Chief Executive Jan Koum said Monday.

The popular mobile messaging app will no longer charge users $1 a year, Koum said at the annual Digital Life Design conference in Munich, according to Reuters. Instead, the seven-year-old company will experiment with making restaurants, airlines and credit card companies pay to contact consumers.

“Today, we are announcing that WhatsApp is going to be free to users. We aren’t going to charge a dollar a year anymore,” Youm said.

WhatsApp, ubiquitous among international users, was acquired by Facebook for $19.2 billion in 2014. It now boasts nearly 1 billion users, Reuters reports. Last year, the company unveiled a new browser-based desktop chat option.

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