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

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    I am ok with it
  • Reply 2 of 37
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Never heard of it.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 37
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 186member
    I don't think people will bother to pay even $1 when there are free alternatives.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    nasserae wrote: »
    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!
  • Reply 8 of 37
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 530member
    Everyone I know uses WeChat.
  • Reply 9 of 37


    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.

  • Reply 10 of 37
    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).
  • Reply 11 of 37
    virtuavirtua Posts: 209member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 37


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

  • Reply 13 of 37
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    lav1daloca wrote: »
    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:
    1000
  • Reply 14 of 37
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    psitthipo wrote: »
    And LINE was and has always been free from the beginning.

    Like WhatsApp, you mean?
  • Reply 15 of 37
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 37

    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?

  • Reply 17 of 37

    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).

  • Reply 18 of 37
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    ecsecs Posts: 307member
    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
  • Reply 20 of 37

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Existing users are expected to be grandfathered in to the new pricing structure

     


     


    wat?

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