WhatsApp Yearly Subscription Model To Come To iOS In 2013
Users of Apple’s iOS platform who are utilizing popular instant messaging application WhatsApp could be looking at subscription fees headed there way this year if reports prove true.
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum recently revealed in his statement to a Dutch journalist Alexander Klopping that the service will be introducing annual paid subscriptions to its iOS app this year. Once it takes effect, users will have to pay annually to use the app instead of paying a single download fee at the outset. The new subscription model will only apply to new users, and not to existing users.
Currently, one of the perks to owning iOS is that WhatsApp for iOS is a onetime payment of $0.99. Other platforms like Blackberry, Windows Phone and Android get to download the app for free, but after a year they are expected to pay $0.99 in subscription fees every year. It’s not a very huge fee but ultimately it could cost more than its iOS counterpart.
Koum hasn’t identified an exact date on when the subscriptions would begin, nor did he clarify much on why WhatsApp decided to change its pricing model, although a likely cause could be increased competition with the likes of LINE, Kik Messenger, and KakaoTalk, along with a number of other apps, most of which have exceeded 100 million users total with the exception of KakaoTalk, who had 57 million registered users as of August 2012, and is likely coming close to the 100 million mark.
For those waiting on a desktop version of WhatsApp to be used with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac devices, Koum revealed that, unfortunately, a desktop version is not in the pipeline:
“We get that question asked a lot. We feel strongly that the world is moving to mobile and … we want to be mobile-only. Your phone is with you all the time, and desktop is to many becoming a secondary experience. … our answer is no, not anytime soon.”