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WhatsApp to start charging iOS users a subscription fee


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

March 19, 2013 | 2 min read

Mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, has announced that it will be charging iPhone users an annual subscription to use its popular app.

At the moment, WhatsApp Messenger charges users on other platforms about 65p a year. iOS users, meanwhile, pay a one off fee of 69p to download the app.

The move comes as the company continues to try and generate revenue without turning to advertising on its app.

According to WhatsApp that would cause a "disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought.”

"We want WhatsApp to be the product that keeps you awake… and that you reach for in the morning. No-one jumps up from a nap and runs to see an advertisement."

According to Jan Koum, WhatsApp's chief executive, the company will start charging its iOS users this year: "We're relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It's on the road map”

He said: "We want to keep things simple," adding that a WhatsApp desktop version of the site will not be getting developed “any time soon.”

"We feel strongly that the world is moving to mobile and [so] we want to be mobile-only.

"Your phone is with you all the time and desktop is to many becoming a secondary experience. [So] our answer is no, not anytime soon." he added.

The comments were made to Alexander Klopping, a Dutch journalist, with Klopping then providing TechCrunch with recording of the interview in English.


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