There were a news few months back that Whatsapp might go to subscription model for iOS to bring it in line with other platforms, where the app itself is free but users have to pay an annual fee. Today, the messaging company has put this into effect by making its iPhone app free.
WhatsApp remains one of the few free services that doesn’t make revenues by serving ads to users. (WhatsApp’s co-founder Jan Koum explains why WhatsApp doesn’t sell ads here.) It also does not advertise its services anywhere, unlike rival WeChat that has roped in football star Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador.
The move of making WhatsApp free on iOS is particularly interesting considering its paid status would have been a barrier for a big chunk of iPhone users especially in emerging markets who don’t buy paid apps from the App Store. However, WhatsApp is not exactly free as it would charge $1 every year after the first year. That’s the same case with Android, though I am yet to hear of anyone who’s been charged after the first year and the free period automatically gets extended.
The app also received an updated features, with an option to attach multiple photos at once in chats, and a way to back up and restore your chats using iCloud. You can install WhatsApp for free from the download link below.
Recently, the company said it was bigger than Twitter with more than 200 million monthly actives, 10 billion messages sent and 17 billion received in a single day.