WhatsApp to Extend Subscription Model to iOS App
Popular mobile messaging app, WhatsApp plans to turn its iOS app into an annual subscription service, similar to what was done to the Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone incarnation of the app. At present, the iOS version of WhatsApp requires a one-off download fee of US$0.99.
The silver lining to this change is that the subscription model will only apply to new iOS users. According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the iOS app will likely follow the pricing structure on other platforms: free for the first year, followed by US$1 per year. “We’re relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It’s on the road map,” said Koum.
There won't likely be a desktop version of WhatsApp anytime soon. “We feel strongly that the world is moving to mobile and [so] we want to be mobile-only. Your phone is with you all the time, and desktop is to many becoming a secondary experience. [So] our answer is no, not anytime soon,” added Koum.
WhatsApp currently has 17 billion messages transmitted daily, with over 100 million users on the Android platform alone.