Cross-mobile messaging platform WhatsApp has confirmed messages circulating on its networking claiming the service will become chargeable is a hoax. For the latest, see: UPDATE: WhatsApp hoax latest details (29/11/2012).
App developer also says closure message is fake too
A number of PC Advisor readers contacted us after they received messages from friends that use the mobile app claiming only 'frequent' users or those that chat to at least 10 people over the service would be able to send messages for free.
"WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user," reads the message.
It then tells WhatApp users they must send the chain letter to 10 people to make the WhatsApp logo turn red to indicate they are a frequent user.
"We have been getting a lot of emails and questions from you about this chain letter," the firm said on its blog.
"Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it. While we are flattered that we made it to Hoax Slayer [website aimed at highlighting internet hoaxes], we would rather work on cool new features instead of debunking silly stories like these ."
WhatsApp uses a handset's Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection to send messages containing text, pictures, audio or video files to other WhatsApp users. WhatsApp is available for devices running Google Android as well iPhones, Nokia handsets and BlackBerry's. There's no limit on the number of messages that can be sent, or the amount of characters that can be used. This means those with a mobile tariff with unlimited mobile data or a Wi-Fi network in regular reach, can save money on SMS and MMS.
Furthermore, WhatsApp also said it has identified another hoax message claiming the service will shut down on January 28.
The chain letter reads: Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp). We have had an over usage of user names on WhatsApp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list".
"If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or WhatsApp will no longer recognise your activation," the message continues.
It then instructs mobile users tat if they wish to re-activate their account they will be subject to a charge of 25.00 (although which currency is not specified) will be added to their monthly bill.