Monday, January 18, 2016
WhatsApp is one of the most popular alternative messaging apps in the world, despite charging most users $0.99 per year. Now, that fee is going away for everyone.
As the company announced in a blog post today, the company is getting rid of the already-tiny yearly subscription cost. It also promises it’s not replacing the fee with ads, either. Instead, WhatsApp is experimenting with ways to partner with businesses to deliver messages to users in the app itself. For example, if your bank already texts you notifications about a recent transaction, WhatsApp wants to handle this directly.
It’s unclear if this method of monetizing the app will work, but given that the company is owned by Facebook, they likely have some room to experiment. In the meantime, all users can now use WhatsApp without limitations for free. Not bad for a Monday.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Friday, December 11, 2015
The community spoke loud and clear and Microsoft heard them.
Just over a month ago Microsoft announced a sweeping and very unpopular change to their OneDrive cloud based storage.
They indicated that the previously offered unlimited storage for subscribers would no longer be offered and all subscribers would be reverted to the original 1TB of storage per subscriber.
At the same time, they also announced that all current OneDrive users would see their free storage tier reduced from 15GB to just 5GB. On top of that the 15GB Camera Roll bonus, which many users had for connecting their smartphones to OneDrive for camera roll storage, would be completely eliminated.
Many of you will recall that this news did not go over well and resulted in a OneDrive UserVoice feedback item entitled Give us back our storage that garnered over 72,000 upvotes.
There is a catch to retain your free storage levels and it is a step that must be done prior to the end of January 2016.
You can wait for an email from Microsoft to your eligible accounts or you can just go ahead and visit https://preview.onedrive.com/bonus/ and opt into keeping all of that free storage.
After clicking on the button you should be logged into your OneDrive account and see this screen:
Note: Be sure to follow these steps for each OneDrive account you have so that all of them retain their free storage.
Of course, anyone who fails to opt in will see their accounts dropped to just 5GB of free storage and no camera bonus shortly after 31 January 2016.
That will likely result in Microsoft actually recovering some resources because there will be a lot of users who never opt in to retain the storage for some reason.
Office 365 subscriber will not return to their unlimited storage option but will still revert to the standard 1TB that is already offered with the subscription. This change is targeted directly at the free storage tiers.
This is a very positive move on Microsoft's part and I am sure it has taken a month for this opt in program to be announced because the entire process of OneDrive storage and the decisions that were announced last month has been scrutinized from within the company.
I suspect, since the cut off to opt in to retaining your storage is 31 January 2016, that after that date new users signing up will only receive the 5GB of free OneDrive storage that was announced as a change last month.
What do you think of Microsoft's decision to restore the free storage tiers for current users on OneDrive?