Whatsapp goes free (first year) for iPhone users too..

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The most popular messaging service Whatsapp announced yesterday that, Whatsapp will be free (first year) for iOS users also from now onwards, making it similar to Android and Windows users. Till now it was a paid app on Apple's App Store and used to cost $0.99 one time charge, while on Android it is always first year free and $0.99 per year there after. Even though it was a paid app, it was among the all-time top 10 revenue grossing apps on the App Store. Despite growing competition in the mobile messaging space, WhatsApp has maintained its leadership, claiming over 250 million monthly active users with more than 27 billion messages processed in a single day.

Here is the announcement:
"First, we are updating our business model for new iPhone users going forward. As you know, we used to charge iPhone users a $.99 one time payment, while Android and other platforms had free service for the first year and paid $0.99 a year after that. From now on, we’ve simplified our business model so that all users on all platforms will enjoy their first year of WhatsApp service for free, and only pay $.99 per year after that. We feel that this model will allow us to become the communications service of the 21st century, and provide you the best way to stay in touch with your friends and family with no ads getting in the way. The good news for all current iPhone users is that WhatsApp will be free of charge for the rest of your life."
The move of making WhatsApp free on iOS is I think because the expansion of Apple's iPhone in developing countries where there is culture of free apps and users are reluctant to pay even a small amount of $0.99 (Rs. 60) per year.
Even though there is a charge on whatsapp after first year, we are yet to hear of anyone who’s been charged after the first year and the free period automatically gets extended for users in many countries.


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