WhatsApp for iOS moves to subscription model

By on July 17, 2013, 11:00 AM
ios, sms, messaging, whatsapp, subscription model

WhatsApp’s first update of the year has arrived, delivering a number of changes as well as a new business model for iOS users. The one-time fee associated with WhatsApp for iOS is being replaced with a subscription model in an effort to entice new users to give the app a shot.

The app initially sold for $0.99 in the App Store but as of today, it’ll be free of charge to download and use for the next year. After the one year trial period has expired, users will be charged $0.99 annually if they wish to keep using the popular messaging application.

If you have already purchased the app and are concerned about being billed each year, don’t be. Those that purchased the app before the price change will be allowed to use it free of charge for the rest of your life.

Other changes in version 2.10.1 include the ability to send multiple images at once, support for URL schema in third-party apps and iCloud support used to back up and restore chat history. In the event that you uninstall then reinstall WhatsApp, you will be prompted to restore your chat history during setup.

WhatsApp allows users to send and receive text messages across multiple platforms without having to use traditional SMS techniques. The app recently set a new record of 27 billion messages processed in one day. It’s currently available for all major mobile platforms including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and Windows Phone.




User Comments: 8

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

To be honest, I can see this change having a negative affect for WhatsApp, they will have less users now they've essentially become a yearly bill. A bill, even though small, is still pretty annoying for just a text messaging service, here in the UK at least, most mobile contracts come with unlimited texts and with the rise of iMessage as well for iPhone users, this seems to be a ripe time for BlackBerry to swoop in and release their Instant Messenger for iOS and Android.

JC713 JC713 said:

Eh, I think the one time fee for a low tech (outdated look) messaging app is enough.

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Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Those who don't understand the relevancy of Whatsapp is likely because in your area/country the service is just another messaging service with barely enough traction -- like Viber and few others.

Like with social networks, you want to use the service where you will find your friends. Whatsapp is being widely used on certain countries where it's replaced BBM as the de facto 'free' messaging platform, and because it's OS agnostic, it's got the upperhand over iMessage and other OS/manufacturer specific solutions.

JC713 JC713 said:

Those who don't understand the relevancy of Whatsapp is likely because in your area/country the service is just another messaging service with barely enough traction -- like Viber and few others.

Like with social networks, you want to use the service where you will find your friends. Whatsapp is being widely used on certain countries where it's replaced BBM as the de facto 'free' messaging platform, and because it's OS agnostic, it's got the upperhand over iMessage and other OS/manufacturer specific solutions.

I never use Whatsapp because I have unlimited texting. I have cousins who live in Dubai and are currently visiting me in NY. They asked me if I use Whatsapp because they dont have unlimited messaging in Dubai and Whatsapp is the more value oriented option. If you have unlimited texting, Whatsapp is fairly useless.

backo said:

I've been using WhatsApp for 1y and 3m now. My free year was about to expire in April '13 and for some reason they gave me another free year - it was a nice surprise.

WhatsApp is my main messaging app. I use it on Android and it looks much better than the iOS version.

JC713 JC713 said:

I've been using WhatsApp for 1y and 3m now. My free year was about to expire in April '13 and for some reason they gave me another free year - it was a nice surprise.

WhatsApp is my main messaging app. I use it on Android and it looks much better than the iOS version.

You dont have to pay the yearly subscription...

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I never use Whatsapp because I have unlimited texting. I have cousins who live in Dubai and are currently visiting me in NY. They asked me if I use Whatsapp because they dont have unlimited messaging in Dubai and Whatsapp is the more value oriented option. If you have unlimited texting, Whatsapp is fairly useless.

Case in point, it doesn't matter what you have, it's what everybody needs to have to share together (free messaging). And of course, then there's the convenience of groups, sending photos/movies, etc.

JC713 JC713 said:

Case in point, it doesn't matter what you have, it's what everybody needs to have to share together (free messaging). And of course, then there's the convenience of groups, sending photos/movies, etc.

True, but iMessage takes care of that xD.

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