I paid that dollar only once, and I suspect a lot of people didn’t pay a dime. Jan Koum’s argument sounds right, but I suspect the new goal is much more interesting for Facebook and WhatsApp.
SMS alerts from businesses are currently the only kind of text messages we get in Spain. WhatsApp is much more convenient for this -almost everybody uses WhatsApp over here- and the situation is identical in many other markets in which WhatsApp can kill SMS for ever.
I’d like to see other alternatives winning on this area -Telegram, Signal or Threema are nice ones-. WhatsApp hasn’t really grown much (in features) since it was acquired by Facebook, but it’s the de facto standard for instant messaging in many country , so that’s a battle we’ve already lost. We are replacing a telecom’s de facto standard -one which made them earn piles of money- with a propietary one from a company that likes to collect our data.
Not such a good deal.