Fact-Check: Will WhatsApp users pay to use the platform?

 Pascal Oparada


A voice note circulating on WhatsApp says users of the platform will start paying to use the messaging app from October.


The voice, apparently released on Monday, October 4, the day Facebook’s platforms, including, WhatsApp suffered a global outage.


According to the voice note, beginning Saturday, October 9, WhatsApp users will be charged to use it.


 “They are saying that from Saturday morning (October 9), people will start paying for WhatsApp. When you receive this message, you have to send it to 10 people for them to identify that you are a user of WhatsApp.


“When you do it, you will be using it free and the light of your WhatsApp will become red to identify that you are a user of WhatsApp. But if you don’t do it that you, will start paying from Saturday morning (October 9). So, when you have this information on your phone, share it with 10 people for them to also share it with 10 people,” the voice note said.

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What WhatsApp said


Findings by TheNigerian Xpress reveal that at no time did Facebook, owners of WhatsApp say users would start paying for using WhatsApp.


Before Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, users of WhatsApp were paying an annual subscription fee of $1 (N470) after their first year. The messaging platform announced in a blog post in January 2016 that they are scrapping the subscription fee and offer its services free to its users going forward.


“…That’s why we’re happy to announce that WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees.

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“For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year.


“As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well. 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,” WhatsApp said.


Our Finding


Peddlers of the voice note took advantage of the outage that hit the platform on October 4 to mislead and disinform users.


The message is false and misleading.












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