WhatsApp for iOS has just received a major update, introducing new features and fixes, and follows the altered company’s business model.

WhatsApp for iOS has just received a major update, introducing new features, fixes and now it follows the company’s altered business model. In fact, the app is now available for free on App Store.

Unlike WhatsApp for Windows Phone and Android, iOS users will need to pay an annual fee of $0.99 after the free usage for a year. Optionally, you can also pay in advance for more than one year and get a small discount of 10% for 3 years, while a discount of 25% for 5 years. The new business model will be applicable to new users while old WhatsApp users who have paid for the application would enjoy unlimited use of license without any additional costs.

This step from WhatsApp was quite speculated for a long time and is not much surprising. Earlier this year, the CEO of WhatsApp Jam Koum announced that iPhone app would be aligned with the business model on Android and all other platforms. Subscriptions are cumulative, and there is no difference between the free and paid versions of WhatsApp other than the expiration of service.

Moreover, the release supports for sharing multiple photos and backup chats on iCloud and ability to open other apps via Urls. The company is also working on features like push-to-talk, which could be released in the near future.

Despite growing competition, the multi-platform mobile app for instant messaging is being more appreciated, and Apple has also ranked WhatsApp as the sixth most popular paid app of all time. WhatsApp messenger currently is available for download on Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone and Nokia.

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