WhatsApp Closing? WhatsApp Starting to Charge for Use? What’s Up? [UPDATED 2012-11-29]


WhatsApp Teaser

Over the past few days more and more rumours about WhatsApp have come up. There are 2 main messages making the rounds, one of which is supposedly about WhatsApp closing on the 28th of Jan 2012 saying:

“Whatsapp is shutting down on 28th Jan Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team”

The other is where it scares people into forwarding messages that tell people that WhatsApp will now be charging for their service if you don’t become a “Frequent User” by sending the message below to 10 users for your WhatsApp logo to change from green to red:

WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.

UPDATE 2012-05-09

Another message making the rounds has come up. The same story, just this time your WhatsApp icon will turn “tangerine orange”. The message looks as follows:

“FINAL WARNING!

If your WhatsApp Logo has not turned red you are not registered as a frequent user and by 10am C.A.T WhatsApp will start charging you. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and you WhatsApp logo should now turn Tangerine Orange as a result of late registration but you will then become a frequent user”

Another hoax, simple as that!



UPDATE 2012-11-29

Messages have again surfaced that WhatsApp will be closing… Yet another hoax!

After people noticed that their contacts status messages showed “error”, the messages that was spread went a little something like this…

“Hello everyone, it seems that all the warnings were real, the use of WhatsApp cost money from summer 2012. If you send this string to 18 different on your list, your icon will be blue and will be free for you. If you do not believe me see tomorrow at 6 pm ending WhatsApp and have to pay to open it, this is by law This message is to inform all of our users, our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking your help to solve this problem. We require our active users forwarded this message to each of the people in your contact list to confirm our active users using WhatsApp, if you do not send this message to all your contacts WhatsApp, then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all their contactsMessage from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team” WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.”

Again it’s just a re-work of the previous messages that were sent. Further proof that this was just an issue on the WhatsApp server came from the tweet Whatsapp sent yesterday:

WhatsApp Tweet

So WhatsApp is NOT CLOSING! Contacts status messages should also be working and there might even be an app update out soon in my opinion.

 

So what’s up with these rumours? Are they true? What’s going on??

Clearly these messages have made their rounds worldwide to such an extent that it has gotten the attention of the people at WhatsApp too! In a short message on their blog, “It is a hoax. Really, it is.“, they themselves say that these messages are a hoax. These messages also bring to mind messages that’s made the round on other IM services, like MXit and even Facebook, to mention just two I know of!

The service provided by WhatsApp will not be closing or changing!

These chain letters or whatever you would like to call them were cleverly conjured up to scare people. Some more reasons why these rumours are not true were mentioned on Hoax-Slayer which make sense!

In short, these points mentioned in the article are:

  • WhatsApp hasn’t, themselves, said that they will be charging users or closing down.
  • WhatsApp wouldn’t announce its plans to start charging for the service “via a vague and poorly worded instant message or Facebook post.”
  • WhatsApp would not make people prove they are frequent users by sending on a message to ten people.
  • Another reason why people won’t be charged for usage is due to this sentence which is on the WhatsApp website: “WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.

It is safe to say that Whatsapp is not closing down and will not be charging for its use!

Not sure what WhatsApp is?

WhatsApp is an awesome cross-platform mobile messaging app. It allows you to send and receive messages without having to pay for SMS’s and as mentioned above, “WhatsApp uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends,” over and above the data usage which is extremely little! WhatsApp is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Nokia, meaning that these phones can all message each other without a problem! WhatsApp doesn’t just send text messages, but also allows the user to send and receive unlimited images, video, audio media messages, contacts and your location to make it easy to find your friends, if needed.

You can download WhatsApp from your App Store, or you can click this download link to download Whatsapp!

Lets put these rumours in the trash where they belong! If you get a message saying that WhatsApp is closing or you will start being charged for the service, tell the people it’s a hoax and direct them to the “It is a hoax. Really, it is.” article on WhatsApp’s website or even this article, so the people can see it’s a hoax if they need some convincing! These messages should NOT be forwarded!

Always remember, give a jackass an education and you’ll have a smartass!

Signing out.

G™

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    • Zac
    • January 17th, 2012

    Thanks. Cleared my doubts!

    • Glad to help! :-)

      G™

    • Yaz
    • January 19th, 2012

    So even tho I’ve sent the txt it’s actually not changing or charging?…… Thank god I use it more then txts

    • Hi Yaz

      Yes, even though you might have sent one of those messages to people, your WhatsApp will not change how or start charging you additionally for using it.

      Data usage for sending messages on WhatsApp is extremely small and therefore may seem like its free

      I’m sure many people use WhatsApp more than texting, like you do, me included :-)

      G™

      • om my htc if i go into whatsap account it says my account expires on 9.2.2013 and to continue useing it costs 99p for the year via paypal… is this true?

      • Hi,

        Yes this is true. WhatsApp is free for the first year. By free I mean the once off purchase of the app. I think you may be able to delete the app and redownload it. This should “reset” the expiration date(I think)

        G™

    • J
    • January 19th, 2012

    Hi, What happen If those people have forwarded the message?

    • Hi J

      Nothing will happen to people who have forwarded those messages to others.

      G™

    • J
    • January 19th, 2012

    Thanks. :)

    • Anytime! :-)

      G™

    • Ming Jie
    • January 29th, 2012

    Ermm sorry to sound like an asshole but how solid is your information ? Where did you get it from ?

    • Hi Ming

      My info is pretty solid. You can see more info on the official WhatsApp blog. Check the article for the link! :-)

      G™

    • Daisy
    • February 5th, 2012

    so why does it say the following when I go and download whatsapp from the whatsapp page:

    “Please download the latest version of WhatsApp Messenger and enjoy our service free for 1 year! During, or after free trial period you can purchase service for $1.99 USD/year.”

    and it’s no longer free in itunes store either… it’s 0.99 (not sure if it’s an one-time fee or not..)

    • Hi Daisy

      Depending on the phone you have, you may be able to get a year free WhatsApp usage. However, whatsapp is by default $0.99c. I think they had it advertised as free during December 2011, if my memory serves me correctly.

      So technically, yes, WhatsApp will charge you, but it’s a once off cost to but the app for Apple users. Thereafter it’s a data charge by your service provider, which there is no way of getting out of. But the data charges are extremely minuscule!

      I hope that helps?

      G™

    • leshambola
    • April 2nd, 2012

    my watsapp keeps disconecting, it wudnt start at all. I tryd downloadin it again but it wudnt download eithr and my internet settings are fine…its been lyk two days now and im loosing my mind. Is it shutting dwn?

    What can i do?

    • Hi Leshambola,

      WhatsApp is definitely not closing. In using at the moment no problems!

      Is the “Network Status” under the “Settings” tab constantly switching between “Connected”, “Connecting” and “Not Connected”?

      First, I would make sure your Internet is working. Go to safari and make sure you get go to an address like http://www.google.com. If that works, next I would try a “hard reset”. To do this, close ALL open applications and hold the home and lock button in together, till you see the Apple logo come up. See if WhatsApp works. If not, delete the app entirely off your iPhone and redownload it again using your computer and sync the app back across.

      Like I said, my WhatsApp is working without do much as a glitch at the moment and the service is definitely not closing!

      Let me know of you come right?

      G™

    • yvoonne
    • May 2nd, 2012

    I don’t have website and my whatsapp is no longer working please help

    • Hi Yvoonne,

      I see you’re using a Blackberry, correct?

      To get WhatsApp on your Blackberry, go to http://www.whatsapp.com/appworld/

      You can also try go to http://www.whatsapp.com/download/ and choose your phone type if it’s not a Blackberry.

      G™

    • Rasha Amhaz
    • July 3rd, 2012

    I want to ask you..people are saying that a new version of whatsapp is out and in this version we can put a picture next to our status. Is that true?? And if yes how can we update it?? Thank you

    • Hi

      I have heard that the new WhatsApp for Blackberry has the option to set a profile picture next to your name. How you do that on a Blackberry, I am not sure. This update is not available on iPhone yet though.

      G™

        • Rasha Amhaz
        • July 3rd, 2012

        Oh okay i have an iPhone 4s…so do you know if they are going to release a version of that soon??

      • I am expecting an update soon. However, with iOS 6 launching soon, the update will most likely only be out once the new iOS is released. If it is released sooner, it may be within the next few weeks, considering the update was launched for Blackberry recently.

        G™

        • Rasha Amhaz
        • July 3rd, 2012

        Oh okay well thank you GlynnRyan…

      • Anytime :-) Follow my Twitter account, I will tweet once the update is available and other info for How To Work My Apple Device is published there.

        G™

    • Matewu.
    • October 3rd, 2012

    Hi. Whatsapp Team. Send me updates: hubertmatewu@gmail.com You are doing a great job. Cheers.

    • Hi,

      I am not affiliated with WhatsApp in any way. However you can follow their Twitter account or view the server status by going to Settings inside of WhatsApp and tapping on “System Status”

      G™

    • najeeb
    • November 19th, 2012

    My whatsapp account says gets expire in another 14 days, wat do i need to do now, as i want to use it evn after 14days without paying any money

    • Hi,

      I believe this means that your year free trial period on WhatsApp has expired. As far as I know you will have to pay for the app in order to kee pusing it if this is the case.

      My advice would be to use it until you pass the 14 days you mentioned are left. See if it still works thereafter on the 15th or 16th day for, for example. If it works, well then.. SCORE! hahaha. If not, I am afraid you will have to pay for it.

      G™

    • yasirsultan
    • November 28th, 2012

    is this true

    • Hi,

      It is a hoax. Please see the update to this article here

      The reason for the “Error: Status unavailable” was because of an issue with WhatsApp’s service which they have fixed.

      Your contacts status’ should be displaying again :-)

      G™

    • Ali-Cam0505
    • November 29th, 2012

    hi,

    can you explain as to why my contacts have there status as “error: status unavailable” ?

    • Hi Ali,

      It is a hoax. Please see the update to this article here

      The reason for the “Error: Status unavailable” was because of an issue with WhatsApp’s service which they have fixed.

      Your contacts status’ should be displaying again :-)

      G™

    • Zach
    • November 29th, 2012

    If its a hoax why does all my contact say error status unavailable?

    • Hi Zach,

      It is a hoax. Please see the update to this article here

      The reason for the “Error: Status unavailable” was because of an issue with WhatsApp’s service which they have fixed.

      Your contacts status’ should be displaying again :-)

      G™

    • tsu
    • November 29th, 2012

    U are saying they have fixed the status errors they were having, the whatsapp people. That’s a lie. Mine is still showing that. I have tried tonnes of clean installs and rebooting my phone but still nthn is changing. Wat is happening to whatsapp?

    • Hi,

      No need to say I’m lying. Rather keep comments like that to yourself. If you are still having issues that your WhatsApp is not showing your contacts status’s, then just say so. WhatsApp has not officially released info that the status issues have been sorted, but various of my contacts have let me know that theirs has been fixed. Try restarting your phone entirely. If you can, remove the battery. Delete WhatsApp and re-download it.

      As with any application, problems come up and need to be corrected. In my opinion they are most likely working on an app update that has caused this issue, or they are working on upgrading their servers – which will also have an impact on your WhatsApp.

      If your WhatsApp is still working and you can message your contacts, not having a contact’s status update work is not a major train smash.

      G™

    • Mmakgafela
    • November 29th, 2012

    I am relieved, for a moment I did really panic. Thanx for da info!!!

    • Mmakgafela
    • November 29th, 2012

    I experienced da same problem of my WhatsApp contacts’ status saying Error: status unavailable yesterday, but now it is operating fine. Thanx a lot…..

    • Awesome,

      Thanks for the feedback :-)

      G™

      • Mmakgafela
      • December 1st, 2012

      There is another rumor being spread on WhatsApp saying we should remove our profile picture on whatsapp coz there is an error which is created to steal our pictures and info n it will be used on other website. They also said the error is called satanist cyber. Is it true or is it another hoax?

      • Yeah, that is a hoax!

        G™

    • maf
    • November 30th, 2012

    do you to pay if you keep whats app for over a year? it says to me whats app expiring in 2 days, purchase for extension? what does that mean?

    • Hi,

      On which mobile platform are you using WhatsApp? As far as I know if you are using a BlackBerry, you might be able to delete the app, then re-download it and the app will reset the year free trial. Alternatively, paying once for the app isn’t a bad idea considering it’s not expensive and an awesome cross-platform app.

      G™

    • Joey
    • January 11th, 2013

    Hi , i am having this problem with Whats app . It just prompt me saying that my phone is no longer allowed to use this service ? I cant purchase the app , once i delete it and re install it , it asked for my number and again it prompt this message .
    Any advice to solving this .

    Thanks

    • Hi Joey,

      It seems you have used up your year free usage of WhatsApp. You say that you have attempted to delete the app and re-install it? If so, it seems you will have to pay for the app.

      Don’t worry though, it’s not an on-going fee. It’s a once off license purchase. $0.99c isn’t expensive at all :-)

      G™

        • AM
        • February 1st, 2013

        My friends having the same problems, expires in a few days, uninstalled app, reinstalled asked for number and asks for payment £69 not pennies!

      • Damn… Sorry about that.

        Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about that for you, as that is how WhatsApp has worded their terms of use for as long as I can remember.

        G™

    • suchitra
    • January 30th, 2013

    why whats app us getting charged,?? I hv deleted d application n now it’s charging so I can’t install it again

    • Damn… Sorry about that.

      Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about that for you, as that is how WhatsApp has worded their terms of use for as long as I can remember. you will have to pay the subscription fees to continue using the app.

      G™

    • cloudy
    • February 6th, 2013

    Hi so it comfirm that watsapp started to charge for a fee right. but i find it ridiculous that Iphone is 1 time payment where andriod user is charge per year.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      I believe the way that the Apple AppStore is set up prevents WhatsApp from charging yearly for the use of their application. I rate you get rid of your Android and get yourself an iPhone :-P

      G™

    • KronicLink
    • March 3rd, 2013

    Whattt?? ook today is MARCH 3 2013 you read right….. today in the very morning i was trying to reply a msg on WHATSAPP and guess what? i couldnt send it anymore unless i pay a $.99 cents fee for a whole year of service SO YEESS I AM A WITNESS THAT WHATSAPP IS IN FACT CHARGING now

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the feedback. However, please note that the $0.99USD yearly payment had ALWAYS been WhatsApp’s policy.

      Here is an extract from their website :

      “WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After which, you have the option of subscribing to an additional year of service for $0.99 USD.”

      The story mentioned in the article above is to dispel rumours that WhatsApp is closing or charging for its service to be used with every message you send.

      For more info on how what WhatsApp charges, please see this link:

      http://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/general/23014681

      G™

    • Faith
    • April 2nd, 2013

    Hi Glynn

    Two days ago I went to my WhatsApp as usual but I could not open it, it just said this version of WhatsApp is old so it is not functioning, so they gave me a link to download the new version but I was unable to download it just stops downloading at 25% and says unable to download, What do you think can be the problem. I am using Nokia E63.

    • Hi Faith,

      My suggestion would be to try download WhatsApp by using a wifi connection.

      The official download link is http://www.whatsapp.com/dl … The reason for the download failing could be because of a slow network download speed or poor signal. My suggestion would be as I mentioned above – try connect to a working wifi connection and try download it again.

      Let me know if you come right?

      G™

    • Faith
    • April 3rd, 2013

    Thank you very much Glynn I will definitely let you know.

    • Alex
    • April 12th, 2013

    I don’t want to lose all of the precious conversations I have with my partner overseas by having to unload and re-download WhatsApp.
    I suppose it won’t break the bank to pay for this kind of service, it’s proved to be an invaluable source of contact as well as media and data transfer. I don’t know what I’d do without it.
    Auto-updates – perfect
    New format – awesome
    Image clarity – bingo!!

    • Rudy
    • October 27th, 2013

    I bought a lifetime Whatsapp subscription a couple of years ago, does this mean its not being honoured anymore, or do I just sit on it and wait? I have just received a message that it will expire soon but I can get a free year if I press the add button, Is this real and Safe?

    • Hi Rudy,

      Your lifetime subscription should still be valid.

      Ignore the messages to “press add button” etc. :)

      G

  1. January 17th, 2012
  2. October 14th, 2012

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