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Facebook has no near-term plan to make money from WhatsApp: Zuckerberg

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Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote), which closed its acquisition of mobile messaging service WhatsApp on Monday, has no near-term plan to make money from the service, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday.

Zuckerberg, who is visiting India to participate in an event to boost Internet usage, did not give details.
Facebook’s final WhatsApp acquisition price tag has risen an additional $3 billion to roughly $22 billion because of the increased value of Facebook’s stock in recent months.

WhatsApp works across different types of phones, across borders, and without advertising. The app only charges a 99 cent annual subscription fee, which is waived for the first year.

Earlier in the day, Zuckerberg addressed the media at an event in New Delhi. He spoke at length about internet access to people across the country, specially in rural areas. Zuckerberg announced a $1 billion fund to encourage people to develop apps in local languages so as to help women, farmers, students across the length and breadth of India.

Zuckerberg plans to discuss plans about getting the Internet to rural areas in India with PM Modi. Zuckerberg said he would discuss with the PM, how Facebook could be used to connect villages.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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