WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum recently revealed in his statement to a Dutch journalist Alexander Klopping that the service will be introducing annual paid subscriptions to its iOS app this year. Once it takes effect, users will have to pay annually to use the app instead of paying a single download fee at the outset. The new subscription model will only apply to new users, and not to existing users.
As it stands now, WhatsApp is a free app for the first year for Android and Windows Phone users, after which users are asked to pay to continue using the service. While Koum did not reveal as to when exactly would it introduce its new subscription model, he confirmed that it certainly will be this year.
As per the excerpts from the interview on Dutch blog Tweakers, an interesting bit during the interview was when Koum was asked about the company’s plans of introducing WhatsApp on the desktop. While he admitted to be receiving that question frequently, he added that the world is increasingly going mobile. “Your phone is always with you. People watch regularly on their phone, but they do not always look at their desktop. Therefore we want to focus only on mobile phones.” On a related note, speaking of changing trends whereby people have switched to WhatsApp for sending messages, Koum said, “People no longer drive on horses, but have switched to cars. The same applies to the telegraph, which was replaced by e-mail.”
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