WhatsApp Moving iOS to Annual Subscription Model

Posted by at 4:21 pm on March 21, 2013

WhatsApp LogoMobile messaging service WhatsApp plans to move its iOS program (which delivers free SMS-like messages to other WhatsApp users) to an annual subscription model rather than the one-time fee the app currently charges. The subscription would be very low-cost as well — the first year free, then just $1 per year afterwards — but would increase revenue and move the app to the same model the company uses on all other platforms it serves. The plan may not affect current users, but will face competition.

So far, the biggest selling points of WhatsApp has been its avoidance of advertising, preferring to have users pay for the app (or subscribe to the service) — along with its large and growing user base of more than 100 million subscribers. Currently the service delivers 17 billion messages every day and is regarded as the most popular alternative messaging service outside of Apple’s own iMessage service, which hasn’t released recent figures but announced last year that it was handling more than a billion messages per day. Apple’s Messages app has become so popular that it was blamed in part for the first-ever decrease in annual SMS text messaging last year.


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