Cross-platform mobile messaging company WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in a $19 billion deal last month, sneaked a unique way to potentially grow its user base into the update to its Android application.
WhatsApp is free to use for one year, after which users must pay $0.99 per year, which is far from a large sum of money, but still more than “free.” However, the updated Android app allows users to pay for their friends’ service.
Other updates in version 2.11.186, from the WhatsApp Google Play page, include:
- New privacy settings for last seen, profile photo, and status.
- Add Camera shortcut for quicker picture sending.
- Add large video thumbnails in chat.
- Add option to show unread messages on home screen widget (Android 3.0+).
- Add option to share/save profile photo/group icon.
- Increase message history user can send.
- Fix sending flag emoji on Sony phones.
- Fix voice note recording volume on Samsung Note 3 and Sony phones.
- Enabled Hindi (Android 4.1+).
Readers: What do you think of the ability to pay for your friends’ WhatsApp service?