Back in 2014, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, moved to buy Whatsapp for a whooping 19 billion dollars, saying that communication was essential for our constantly evolving world. He had promised to keep Facebook always free of charge, available for anyone to use, and pledged to the same with the newly acquired whatsapp.
Sadly, Zuckerberg has announced that, starting 2018, new monthly and yearly subscription fees will be introduced to both platforms, as revenues started to plummet since last year.
“It is crucial that we start implementing new ways to benefit from our platform. We have faced numerous financial distresses that has forced us to make several budget cuts.” Mark posted on his Facebook page, apologizing to the users and asking for support for the 10 year old platform.
“In order for Facebook to continue producing new features, our teams needs to grow, and we can’t maintain a stable revenue from advertisements alone. We needed to take action or watch Facebook become the new Myspace.”
His post continues, “We had a very long debate on whether or not to include Whatsapp in the upcoming subscription plans, and we’ve come to the decision that it is paramount that we provide our messaging service for free, so we’re including a free tier in our upcoming plans.”
The new subscriptions fees are rumoured to be: $5.99 monthly for Facebook, $3.99 monthly for Whatsapp, $7.99 for the Complete Social Bundle. There will be a limited Facebook lite that you can use for free, but that will pose a lot of limitations on posting, commenting, sharing…etc.
A free Whatsapp version will also be introduced. Whatsapp Lite will come with 1200 free messages per month, to a maximum of 15 recipients, and $1 for an extra 800 messages and 5 recipients.
Zuckerberg has promised reduced fees if the company reaches its revenue goal in the first quarter of 2018, but has made no promises regarding reversing the subscription service.
“Facebook can no longer be free. We will do our best to reach a fair monthly fee for Facebook, and who knows? Maybe Whatsapp will go back to being free, but right now, it’s all about reaching that revenue goal, or we might not be able maintain the high quality we’ve always produced.
What do you think? Will we be moving back to Myspace? Or will we bite the bullet and go for the new paid version of both platforms? Stay tuned for more.