Is WhatsApp Free and How Much Can It Cost to Use?

Last updated: May 21, 2017 - 12:18pm EDT

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about what WhatsApp is, and have read our 5 tips for staying safe while using WhatsApp, you may be curious about how much it can cost, or how the company makes money. In this article, we’ll go over all of that information with you, to help you decide if WhatsApp is worth it for you.

Is WhatsApp free?

Yes, WhatsApp is currently free to download and use. WhatsApp previously cost 99₵ per year after the first year of service. It was also possible to buy a 3-year subscription at $2.69 U.S. (a 10% discount) or a 5-year subscription at $3.75 U.S. (a 25% discount). But now, it’s available completely free!

However, there is a way that WhatsApp can cost you money, if you use the Internet data connection on your device rather than your Wi-Fi.

How much data does WhatsApp use?

WhatsApp doesn't use a lot of data, especially if you use it mainly for text messages. Sending images, audio, and videos through WhatsApp will use significantly more data, however, in our experience, a year's worth of sent and received text messages on WhatsApp will only use approximately 1GB of data.

In contrast, making a video call using WhatsApp can use about 12MB for a 4-minute call. If you want to make sure you don't break the bank using WhatsApp, be sure you make video calls using a Wi-Fi connection, rather than your mobile data connection, whenever possible.

How does WhatsApp make money?

WhatsApp used to make money by charging subscription fees to use the service. They have recently stopped this, but have hinted that they may move to a "freemium" model where paying a subscription fee unlocks advanced features. Investors are WhatsApp's other major income source. WhatsApp does not sell advertisements.

To read WhatsApp's full statement on why they don't use advertisements, click here.

 

That's a bit of information about what WhatsApp costs and how it makes money! To learn more about the ins and outs of WhatsApp and how to use it, check out the rest of our free WhatsApp course. And make sure you download WhatsApp from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store if you think it's for you! We’ll show you how to do everything from how to sign up for WhatsApp to how to back up your WhatsApp messages, and more!

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