Why did it take this long for WhatsApp to switch to a subscription model on iOS?

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WhatsApp has long been one of the most popular paid apps on iOS. The problem? It never really needed to be a paid app. Sure, the $0.99 price tag has been no barrier for folks looking for cheap alternatives to SMS — the service boasts 200 million monthly users and some 10 billion messages sent every day — but competing messaging platforms have long relied on a freemium model. Hell, even WhatsApp on other platforms has been offered as a free download for some time now.

So how about a little golf clap for the price drop that just went into place for WhatsApp on iOS. Yep, it’s not available free of charge for the first year. After that, the fee to continue using the messenger is $0.99/year. It’s the same small price you would have paid upfront, deferred a year. If there is a downside, it’s the face that you will need to re-up your subscription for each subsequent year, but will you really be using WhatsApp that far into the future? Be honest with yourself.

It’s about time. If for whatever reason the dollar you would have spent on WhatsApp was scaring you off, you are now free to try the messaging craze that has been sweeping the globe. And if you aren’t hooked after a year? You didn’t pay a dime.

[via WhatsApp]

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