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.