WhatsApp Messenger to become Subscription Based by End of 2013
The popular cross-platform messaging app that many of us have come to depend on, WhatsApp, is planning to revise its current one-time purchase fee for iOS users and move to a subscription model similar to the way the title is distributed on other platforms such as Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone.
In a recent interview, CEO Jan Koum said the subscription model will be applicable to new users, who would be able to download and use the app for free for one year before being subject to an annual fee. No decision has been made in regards to the pricing but the structure is likely to follow the company’s other apps, which currently carry a recurring cost of $1 per year.
As of right now, users are required to make a one-time payment of $0.99 for access to the app’s ad-free services. Existing users are expected to be grandfathered in to the new pricing structure when the change takes place sometime this year. Koum revealed that his company is “relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It’s on the road map,” referring to the new pricing change.
WhatsApp has become enormously popular and transmits 17 billion messages a day. This is largely due to the rise of smartphones and data-based messaging. The publication noted that there are over 100 million account holders using Android devices alone. Established firms such as Facebook have recently boosted their own messaging services with the social network’s latest offering boasting free VoIP calling across North America. As far as the future of WhatsApp, Koum said a desktop client is something that won’t be arriving anytime soon as the world continues to move to an all-mobile ecosystem. Video streaming is also not in the cards for 2013 but could be a possibility in the coming years.
For now, WhatsApp is still available in the App Store for the one-time fee of $0.99 for those of you who were interested in downloading it.