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Soon after completing its Facebook deal, Whatsapp's CEO has no plans to make money

For now, his only concern is to grow its userbase and bring voice calls to the app early next year.

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum
Image: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

SOON AFTER COMPLETING its deal with Facebook, which rose to $21.8 billion after it was completed early this month, most people would be forgiven for assuming it would start looking at ways to make money.

Not so according to its co-founder and CEO Jan Koum who revealed the company had no plan to generate revenue in the short-term.

Speaking at the Code/Mobile conference, Koum said that for now, the focus was on growth and not monetisation, echoing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s claims that it wouldn’t be a priority for the app over the next few years.

“For a bit, we can only focus on growth only and not have to do any kind of experimentation with monetisation”, said Koum.

Most of WhatsApp revenue comes from user subscriptions and not social ads like Facebook’s products.  The app is free for the first year, before charging a €0.99 annual subscription fee.

At Facebook’s latest earnings call, Zuckerberg said his aim was to get the company’s apps like WhatsApp and Instagram to reach one billion users as part of a five-year plan, saying “Products aren’t really interesting as a business until they have a billion people using them.”

At the same event, WhatsApp made revenue of $15 million in the first half of 2014. However, it made a net loss of $232.5 million, $206.5 million of it coming from the issuing of stock. Despite this, Koum has said that they have no plans to bring advertising to the app.

The app has more than 600 million users worldwide and it plans to introduce voice calls early next year.

Read: Here are the uses for private browsing that you might not have thought of >

Read: Facebook has some big plans for the next ten years >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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