Whatsapp users will now be notified when their messages have been read and the chat service will remain free in developing countries.
A key point of contention between Whatsapp users not too long ago was what the two check marks meant when they sent a message. In reality, the check marks are one for delivery to the server and two for the delivery to the receiving device. The common misconception was that the double checks mean message read. This of course led to a lot of misunderstanding in the Whatsapp community, and quite possibly some strained relationships as a result. But fret not because the good guys at Whatsapp have finally put in blue highlights for these checks to show that the message has indeed been read. No update required for this nifty feature as the change was performed on the server side of things.
Another big update from Whatsapp is that the service will remain free, but only for developing countries like India. Vice-president for business development, Neeraj Arora insisted that monetization of the service will eventually occur and reaffirmed that this will be done through user subscriptions, not ads. He also cited the reason that the $1 annual charge was not collected in India and similar countries is due to the debit and credit card penetration, unlike that seen in the US and Europe. As of yet, there is no announcement on how long this period of free service will persist but it is definitely good news to Whatsapp users in developing countries.