WhatsApp to extend subscription model to iOS this year


WhatsApp is a very well know cross platform messaging app. The service has hundreds of millions of users with 17 billion messages transmitted daily, 7 billion inbound and 10 billion outbound, and that is a lot of messages roaming the network. The service was free from the time of its infancy to some time back, when the company decided to go pro.  The company decided to charge a subscription fee on a yearly basis. So if you pay the company some amount of money once, you will be able to use the service for a year.

This was implemented on Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Nokia platforms some time back, but on the iOS platform, it is still a premium app. On the other networks, it works like this. The app is free to download, so you do that. You register on the network, search for all your friends, and start sending and receiving messages. This was initially free. But now, it is free only for the first year, and you will have to start paying from the second year. The annual subscription charge is just one dollar per year, not at all a big money.

But on the iOS platform, it is still a premium app, just the way it was released some time back. To get the app on your iOS based device, you will have to pay $0.99, and then it is free to use for life time. But the company is thinking of changing this to subscription too. So sometime this year, WhatsApp users on iOS will have to start paying a yearly subscription charge to be able to use the app. Tech Crunch writes:

The comments were made to Dutch journalist Alexander Klopping, and reproduced in part in two Dutch blogs, Tweakers and Techtastic. Klopping also provided us with recording of the interview, in English.

The new subscription model would apply to new users, Koum said, and would likely follow the same pricing structure as its other apps, which are free for the first year and then cost $1/year, compared to the single, for-life $0.99 purchase that users make on iOS today. “We’re relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It’s on the road map,” Koum said.

Koum did not spell out too much of the logic behind why WhatsApp is changing its model — “We want to keep things simple,” he explained.

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