WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum offers a fresh and focussed outlook in regards to his business plans for the messaging service which sees billions (with a B) of messages pass through it every day. His serious "no games" approach is simple: instead of paying for the app itself (which is now free), or be subjected to in-app advert, asks users for a $0.99 yearly service fee.
While at the DLD conference in Munich, Germany he spoke about his company being profitable: “We make money, but the important thing is not monetization,” he said simply. Someday the company will focus on it, but today the main aim is to to make sure WhatsApp has a service that works.” Having the yearly subscription fee is part of that plan.
Although, the app remains free, and service is also free for the first year. WhatsApps stance on ads has always been crystal clear, considering them not only a nuisance, but also "insult to your intelligence", and apparently, unnecessary in growing a profitable company.
Focus on ProductGiving no fuel to any acquisition rumours, the outlook is good for WhatsApp and its resignation to build a product worth using, and not 'selling out'. The small 50-person company has plans to buckle down and work hard at making the best product possible, comparing themselves to Facebook, or Google "They didn’t sell.
They stuck around and built a great offering for users.” Koum acknowledged that these are all built on advertising, while WhatsApp is not, but the main idea remains: “For us it’s about [building] a company that is here to stay.”