WhatsApp will continue to offer its service for free to users in developing countries like India. Vice-president for business development Neeraj Arora stated that low debit and credit card penetration was the main reason for not collecting the $1 annual fee the service charges users in North America and Europe.

Speaking at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad on Tuesday, Arora reiterated that monetization for the service would come from user subscriptions, and not advertisements.

"Monetization is on the cards. It will happen over the next few years. We believe in the subscription model and not in advertising as people do not like to have ads as they converse."

One way WhatsApp could charge users in the subcontinent is by tying up with carriers and collecting subscription charges from offline channels. WhatsApp already works with carriers in bundling data plans that do not charge users for the service, which has a user base of 70 million in the country.

The executive, who was pivotal in the $19 billion acquisition by Facebook earlier this year, also stated that there is potential in India to "build the next WhatsApp for the world."

Indian readers, are you excited that WhatsApp will remain free for the time being?

Source: The Hindu