WhatsApp – No Advertising vs. Facebook – No Fees
Advertising is an attention tax. Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, discusses in his blog post (see below) how technology companies divert engineering resources away from things that add value to the end user in order to build advertising and targeting infrastructure. He is right.
It’s great to contrast their stance with that of Facebook, who promised never to charge for the service. WhatsApp will probably need to figure out how to charge for other stuff if they don’t plan on doing advertising, but I applaud them for taking an anti-advertising stance. Neither is right or wrong, but having a point of view and reasoning behind it is to be respected.
When people ask us why we charge for WhatsApp, we say “Have you considered the alternative?”
Facebook on not charging for Facebook:
We have no plans to charge for Facebook. It’s free and always will be.