Facebook's WhatsApp Is Now Free

PHOTO:People are seen as silhouettes as they check mobile devices while standing against an illuminated wall bearing WhatsApp Incs logo in this arranged photograph in London, Jan. 5, 2016. Bloomberg/Getty Images
People are seen as silhouettes as they check mobile devices while standing against an illuminated wall bearing WhatsApp Inc's logo in this arranged photograph in London, Jan. 5, 2016.

The nearly 1 billion people who use messaging service WhatsApp will now keep an extra dollar in their pockets after the Facebook-owned company announced it was scrapping its subscription fee.

WhatsApp was previously free for a user's first year and after that, charged $1 per year.

"Many WhatsApp users don't have a debit or credit card number and they worried they'd lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we'll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service," a blog post today from the company said.

With its main revenue stream gone, WhatsApp said the announcement doesn't mean they'll introduce third-party advertisements as a way to generate money. The company instead plans to test tools that allow users to communicate with businesses and organizations they want to talk to.

"That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight," the blog said. "We all get these messages elsewhere today -- through text messages and phone calls -- so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam."