WhatsApp is free in india now not in different countries. One has to pay after a 12 months of utilization.
India does not have a excellent penetration of bank cards or different fee programs. It was very important for WhatsApp to proceed its products and services free for wider reach. The USP of WhatsApp is its simple person interface and wider availability on all platforms.
Neeraj Arora, the Vice President of WhatsApp had introduced in an interview that WhatsApp will proceed to be free in India.
Here is an excerpt from the interview
WhatsApp, the messenger service firm acquired by Facebook, is not enforcing its $1 a year fee in India. Normally, the service is free for a year and the US-based firm charges users a dollar a year after that.
Neeraj Arora, Vice-President of WhatsApp, said that it is not enforcing the fee here as there were several ecosystem issues such as low penetration of credit cards.
An alumnus of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Arora spent a day with the students of the school. In the evening, he had an informal chat with the students where he related his journey with start-ups, Google and then WhatsApp four years ago. Arora joined WhatsApp when it was a start-up with a small team and had only 40 million users.
Today, it has 600 million users.
He played a key role in closing the $19-billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook earlier this year.
On cutting into the SMS business of telecom operators, he said the company has asked them to tie up with WhatsApp as they could sell more data with more and more people getting onto WhatsApp.
“They understood the point. We have tied up with five telcos in India,” he said.
WhatsApp does not have advertising tie-ups. “We believe in the subscription model and not in advertising as people do not like to have ads as they converse,” he explained.
Asked to comment on user preferences in countries such as Japan and China, Arora said the company didn’t believe in developing products tailored to a few countries.
“If it doesn’t apply to the majority of our users, we don’t do it. We believe in building a product that works for everyone,” he said.