There were enough controversies concerning WhatsApp charging Android users annual subscription fee for $0.99 USD. WhatsApp is a messaging giant across mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone 8…etc. And for your information, the WhatsApp boast a messaging service for over 100 million users on Android. 17 billion messages are sent daily ( 7 billion inbound and 10 international). Ys, it connects people from all over the world making use of the advantage brought to people from cellular network data. It also faces fierce competition from Naver LINE, another messaging entity that has not only messaging services but social games and other utility apps on iOS and Android. WhatsApp’s rival, LINE offers free messages internationally which also celebrated its 100 million download milestone early this year. In addition, LINE quickly developed its desktop version that integrates with its mobile version on Mac and PCs.
Source indicates that WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum said that the company is planning to bring annual subscription fee to iOS. Originally, the WhatsApp is a one-off purchase made on the App Store with permanent subscription even if you switch to Android devices. However, this is going to be changed for iOS, because they have already released plans for annual subscription fee for Android users. On the fair basis, they think charging users on the iOS with the annual fee is also possible. Currently on Android, users get a free download combined with a one year feee trial. Users have to pay one year after but WhatsApp was under fire in many Asian countries
like Hong Kong that they do not have the right to charge. Jan Koum did not reason why they have plans to move forward and charge iOS users in this year but he said they just want it simple.
In an interview with Koum, the media finds out that WhatsApp still hasn’t have plans for releasing a desktop version because they wanted to keep it mobile-only, claiming that desktop version messaging is another kind of experience. Yes, they will not release a desktop versi0n for their worldwide bestselling messaging service.
When asked about whether live streaming of video will come to WhatsApp, Koum answered negatively “definitely not this year”. Koum said their company is not thinking about buy-out or have plans with any exit strategy, saying that they only concentrate on good products. In terms of business strategy, WhatsApp claimed that they maintain very good relationship with carriers and they are doing some “revolutionary” stuff such as working with Three Hong Kong (3HK) of Hutchison Telecom. Given the strong demand for WhatsApp in the Asian market, WhatsApp worked with Three Hong Kong to provide paid service when the users is on roaming data for $6/day unlimited messages. WhatsApp is aiming at switching as an SMS alternative rather than working on the way LINE is doing right now. WhatsApp is a messaging platform while LINE looks more like a social networking platform now.
Like we said many times, WhatsApp has one comparative advantage over many platform that is its popularity. You simply can’t beat it at the moment looking at the considerable amount of people relying on it as an SMS substitute in places like Hong Kong. The number of users have out-wetight many similar messaging services and this is why they have the bargaining power to charge user for it. You pay because you have friends and relatives on it. I wouldn’t comment on this business strategy but from a user point of view, a paid apps usually have better quality. However, LINE or other apps have changed my views because they offer more than just messaging. Seriously, if you are tired of being charged for a backtracking traditional messaging app like WhatsApp, why not consider some alternatives, like Skype,LINE, ChatON?
WhatsApp is just an iMessage-like messaging service with chatbox and ability to send photos and voice, nothing more actually. Does it worth a dollar a year?
Indeed, not having a desktop version is a bad move for WhatsApp. Its competitors are doing much better in terms of this. Look, developing a messaging platform is not that hard, is it? By having a desktop version of WhatsApp, their product could gain instant popularity.
WhatsApp, try not to be so greedy and too proud of your product! Keep in mind that even a dollar charge can make people seriously consider a change because there are just too many alternatives!
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