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Messaging app 'WhatsApp' for iOS to become subscription based by year's end

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Popular cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp is planning to eschew its current one-time purchase fee for iOS users, and move to a subscription model akin to how the title is distributed on other platforms like Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

WhatsApp


In an interview on Monday, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said the subscription model will be applicable to new users, who would be able to download and use the app free for one year before being subject to an annual fee, reports TechCrunch. No decision has been made regarding pricing, but the structure will likely follow the company's other apps, which carry a recurring cost of $1 per year.

Currently, iOS 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, who revealed the upcoming change to Dutch journalist Alexander Klopping, was unclear on when the pricing switch would occur, saying, ?We?re relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It?s on the road map."

With the rise of smartphones and data-based messaging, WhatsApp has become enormously popular and transmits 17 billion messages a day. The publication noted that there are over 100 million account holders using Android devices alone.

Established firms like Facebook have recently boosted their own messaging services, with the social network's latest offering touting free VoIP calling across North America.

As for WhatsApp's future, Koum said a desktop client won't arrive anytime soon as he feels the world is quickly moving to an all-mobile ecosystem. Video streaming is also not in the cards for 2013, but could be a possibility in the coming years.

WhatsApp is still available in the App Store for the one-time fee of $0.99.
post #2 of 36
I am ok with it
post #3 of 36
Even though I can, obviously, pay a buck a year, somehow I think this move is not cool. Probably because of the change; if it were sub based from the start I wouldn't have mind. It used to be free for a limited time. But wow, 17 billion a day; I bet the telco's are cringing.
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post #4 of 36
Stopped using WhatsApp the day Apple released iMessage. Most people I know communicate using iMessage, Twitter, or/and Facebook. The lack of iPad and iPod touch support is stupid on their part. Beside, I was getting too much junk from people.
post #5 of 36
Never heard of it.
post #6 of 36

I assume they need the dough to acquire an apostrophe...

 

Don't mind paying, even if it would be $1 per month, but everybody I know is on iMessage, FaceTime or Skype. No need for another messaging service.

post #7 of 36
I don't think people will bother to pay even $1 when there are free alternatives.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Stopped using WhatsApp the day Apple released iMessage. Most people I know communicate using iMessage, Twitter, or/and Facebook. The lack of iPad and iPod touch support is stupid on their part. Beside, I was getting too much junk from people.

1. Works fine on my iPad.

2. in relation to your FB friends 'Beside, I was getting too much from junk people' fixed that for you. << joking here, of course!
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post #9 of 36
Everyone I know uses WeChat.
post #10 of 36

I hear Microsoft has a message app out now. For a subscription price you get pearls of wisdom as Ballmer thinks them up. 

 

All Microsoft employees get it free and often in person.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #11 of 36
I stopped using WhatsApp long time ago.
1. It always displayed me online to my other contacts which bothered me and gave you no option to turn it off.
2. You can't make calls on it

3. What a shitty app if it can't do those two things!

I want to control my app not the other way around! Delete WhatsApp immediately!!!!

I now use Viber and it works like a charm (mostly).
post #12 of 36
If that was the deal from the start my mind set would be different, I've already paid for it and that was the deal. So to charge more now without any benefit ....,a definite turn off. Feels wrong. It's one of those ....if we could charge a dollar for every customer it'll make us x, if we even get just 1% it will be y. Customer mugging.
post #13 of 36

Most people ditched Whatapp for LINE in Japan and Thailand.  And LINE was and has always been free from the beginning.  

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

I stopped using WhatsApp long time ago.
1. It always displayed me online to my other contacts which bothered me and gave you no option to turn it off.
2. You can't make calls on it

3. What a shitty app if it can't do those two things!

I want to control my app not the other way around! Delete WhatsApp immediately!!!!

/Whatsapp//Settings/Chat Settings/Advanced:
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post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by psitthipo View Post

And LINE was and has always been free from the beginning.

Like WhatsApp, you mean?
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post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Never heard of it.

 

It's consistently been at the top of the paid apps chart on iTunes for the past couple of years.

post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

I stopped using WhatsApp long time ago.
1. It always displayed me online to my other contacts which bothered me and gave you no option to turn it off.
2. You can't make calls on it

3. What a shitty app if it can't do those two things!

I want to control my app not the other way around! Delete WhatsApp immediately!!!!

I now use Viber and it works like a charm (mostly).

 

Can you send photos with Viber?

post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Even though I can, obviously, pay a buck a year, somehow I think this move is not cool. Probably because of the change; if it were sub based from the start I wouldn't have mind. It used to be free for a limited time. But wow, 17 billion a day; I bet the telco's are cringing.

I'm pretty sure that the option for WA to start charging for the service has been in their T&Cs since the beginning. They just gave you 12 months free use (which they extended a couple of times).

post #19 of 36
Here in Hong Kong, there's not a single person who doesn't use whatsapp. No one uses viber. And some of the comments here show that people didn't read the article. It said that legacy paid users will be grandfathered in, meaning we won't have to pay the subscription.
post #20 of 36
I don't know what planet do this thread posters live in, but Whatsapp is the only message service used by all people I know. Even more popular than FB. And twitter is used by a minority. But Whatsapp, everybody uses it, take a subway, and several people are using it on the train.

But I really hope this comes to an end, because it's clear Whatsapp is too worried about getting great cash income, and this is bad for users. I hope some alternative will be used by the same number of people Whatsapp has now, and I hope this ends in a way good for users
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Existing users are expected to be grandfathered in to the new pricing structure
 

 

wat?

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

I don't think people will bother to pay even $1 when there are free alternatives.


yup. plus, it's not only paying $1. it's convincing all of your contacts to do the same. it's hard enough to convince them all to download a free app, let alone one that carries a yearly subscription.

post #23 of 36

I heard a term once.  FREE.  Plenty of free ones out there.  Not worth the yearly price when I can get one for free.

An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #24 of 36
Problem with iMessage is that you can't just set it to use network for specific individuals. I use WhatsApp for my international friends and iMessage for domestics.
post #25 of 36

[EDIT: Nah.]

2011 Macbook Pro, 2012 Macbook Air, iPhone 5, iPad 4

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2011 Macbook Pro, 2012 Macbook Air, iPhone 5, iPad 4

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post #26 of 36
Stupid and greedy - they will just direct people away to iMessage and Wechat if they're not using these already. Do they really think they will change behaviours ?
This proposed subscription has been the rumour in Hong Kong for the last 6 months and no-one will pay that here, they'll just move to the next new free messaging client.
bye bye Whatsapp
post #27 of 36

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Like WhatsApp, you mean?

Yup. Exactly like WhatsApp, with better Emoji support to boot. And it's FREE.

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by psitthipo View Post

Most people ditched Whatapp for LINE in Japan and Thailand.  And LINE was and has always been free from the beginning.  

 

I switched to LINE with my friends in Japan months ago. I actually like LINE much better then Whatsapp. 

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

1. Works fine on my iPad.

2. in relation to your FB friends 'Beside, I was getting too much from junk people' fixed that for you. << joking here, of course!

1. Not supported officially. You cannot just go to the App Store and download it to your iPad/iPod touch. Go check their app page.

2. I don't like Facebook but I don't get PN every 60 seconds with Facebook about how if I don't forward this message I will be hit by a bus. With Facebook and twitter you can check posts on your own time.
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Yup. Exactly like WhatsApp, with better Emoji support to boot. And it's FREE.

How can Emoji support be better if it's not in the app but integrated into the OS? Ah, it's an Asian app. Ok, well, those who have downloaded WhatsApp already will be grandfathered, as the article and TonTon already wrote, and won't need to pay for it anyway.

Besides, LINE makes money from IAP. Not exactly cheap, @ € 1.79 per Minni Mouse, whatever that might do.

http://line.naver.jp/en/
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post #31 of 36

I really enjoyed the heck out of Whatsapp for a while. However then iMessage and Facebook Messaging came along and it fell by the wayside.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

I heard a term once.  FREE.  Plenty of free ones out there.  Not worth the yearly price when I can get one for free.
Free is not really free when it includes ads and constant marketing for "upgrades" or "add-ons". That's why whatsapp has dominated. I would MUCH rather pay $1 a year than have ads.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Yup. Exactly like WhatsApp, with better Emoji support to boot. And it's FREE.

How can Emoji support be better if it's not in the app but integrated into the OS? Ah, it's an Asian app. Ok, well, those who have downloaded WhatsApp already will be grandfathered, as the article and TonTon already wrote, and won't need to pay for it anyway.

Besides, LINE makes money from IAP. Not exactly cheap, @ € 1.79 per Minni Mouse, whatever that might do.

http://line.naver.jp/en/
Keep in mind, LINE got thrashed when it was first released, for selling users' data.
post #34 of 36
iMessage is useless when half your friends have Samsungs.
post #35 of 36
While I use Whatsapp, I recently moved to China where Whatsapp does not have any user base. Here most people are using a new software from the creators of QQ called WeChat. It's copied some of the function of Whatsapp and then added a lot more so that now Whatsapp pales in comparison.

For example there is a desktop version accessed by a website (no need to download software), secondly it gives you a unique identifier number independent of your mobile phone. This is useful if you swap in and out of different mobile numbers as I do. Thirdly it gives you whats called a "moments" space where people can upload photos etc to a profile making it somewhat of a mobile Facebook. The voice messaging is way better than whatsapp and it allows video calls.

Oh and it's free.
post #36 of 36
So... it's time to uninstall whatsapp and instal sth new... for free 1biggrin.gif
Cubie is cute https://play.google.com/store/... Maybe FB
Messenger...WEChat is interesting - and really popular... or maybe Vippie it's quite good and have
calls to USA for free... https://play.google.com/store/... I don't know yet.
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