WhatsApp Drops Annual Fee
WhatsApp today dropped its annual subscription fee. The messaging service has been offered to new users free for the first year, but then required a nominal payment each year after that. WhatsApp says it is removing fees from all the different versions of its app around the world so that people can remain in touch with one another without worrying about fees. WhatsApp said it will not turn to ads to generate revenue. Instead, WhatsApp will "test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from," including banks, airlines, and others with which consumers regularly do business. WhatsApp has nearly one billion users around the world and is owned by Facebook.
WhatsApp Adds Fun Camera Tools to Messaging App
Facebook-owned WhatsApp this week rolled out new features to its messaging application. Specifically, users can now write or draw on photos and videos, as well as add emoji to posts to give them character.
WhatsApp Says What's Up to Global Video Chats
WhatsApp today announced that it is enabling video calls for all users around the world. Video calling is being added to the Android, iOS, and Windows phone mobile apps over the coming days.
WhatsApp to Use Google Drive to Store Messages
Google today said WhatsApp users will soon be able to back up their conversations, photos, voice messages, and videos to Google Drive. The data will be stored securely and can be used to restore chat histories to new devices.
Google's Voice Assistant Now Works with Some Chat Apps
Google today extended the voice capabilities of its Google Search app by allowing it to interact with third-party messaging apps. People can now issue commands such as "Ok Google, send a WhatsApp message" to initiate and dictate messages in a handful of popular messaging apps.
WhatsApp Ending Support for Blackberry and Symbian OSes
WhatsApp plans to cease supporting a handful of older mobile operating systems by the end of the year. WhatsApp will stop working on devices running Android 2.1 and 2.2; all BlackBerry OSes, including BlackBerry 10; Nokia's S40 and Symbian S60 platforms; and Windows Phone 7.1.