With Facebook purchasing WhatsApp, users may be concerned about what could change. Though we speculated in the announcement that there could be an advertising angle for Facebook, it seems WhatsApp will continue to operate normally. Still a standalone app, and keeping the same pay structure.
The WhatsApp blog was updated today by CEO Jam Koum, who wanted to let the 450 million monthly active users of WhatsApp know exactly what’s happening. “Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.”
WhatsApp will still operate out of Mountain View, California. We will still get to use WhatsApp free for the first year, with a 99 cent annual fee thereafter. All the same platforms will be supported, and perhaps more importantly, WhatsApp says no advertisements will be seen by users. “There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product” said Koum.
“Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible”. For his part, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also noted in the original announcement the social network would not alter WhatsApp’s trajectory.
It’s nice to know WhatsApp is keeping things on the straight and narrow, but we do wonder what the future holds. Like any service, WhatsApp will go through changes, and it will be interesting to see what Facebook brings to the table. Considering Facebook's recent work with mobile apps, we’re inclined to be excited about the future of WhatsApp, ads or not.