WhatsApp Messenger App To Start Charging Users Money - Is This A Hoax?
A recent chain message has gone viral via the WhatsApp messenger app to all those connected on the network.
The message is supposedly written by its founder advising users that the app has reached its limit for member accounts.
It goes onto say that if any of your contacts, or friends, are on the network but are inactive, you will be charged 37 cents per message you send to any “inactive” users.
The only way that you can avoid this is to forward the message to ten users, which then gives your profile credibility as an "active" user and therefore you can continue to use the service for free.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a messenger app which is available on iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phones and even Android, which allows users message each other.
The reason for its popularity is that it uses the internet and leverages off your phone's data plan, and therefore there are no costs associated with any text message, video, image or audio message sent.
The text message reads as follows:
Hello, I. Am DAVID D. SURETECH founder of Whatsapp.
This message is being sent to inform users that we have only 53 million accounts available for new phones. Our servers have recently been very congested, so we asking for your help to solve this problem.
We need our active users to forward this message to every single person in their contact list in order to confirm our active users that use WhatsApp.
It then goes on to say...
If you do not send this message to your contacts then your account will remain inactive.
Your smartphone will be updated within 24 hours, and will feature a new design; a new color for the chat and the icon will change green.
The message then advises users that unless you comply, you will be charged 37cents per message. When you do comply, the logo on your will turn blue and you will become a free user for life.
Known Issues With the Message
There are a couple of main issues with the message which confirm that it is a hoax.
- David Suretech is not the founder of WhatsApp. The founders are Brian Acton and Jan Koum.
- There are a few grammatical errors with the original message.
- The message has been known to vary amongst recipients - some messages claim that messages will turn red to indicate a frequent user and the prices supposedly to be charged are different too.
WhatsApp Official Blog Confirmation
The WhatsApp official website has posted an update on their blog to confirm that this is definitely a hoax and confirmed that nothing will change and there are no fees to use the app.
They have also come out to inform the public of other messages going viral which are also fake.
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