Will put an end to the existing model of a one-off payment for unlimited usage.
Cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp runs on Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Windows Phone and iPhone. And with the exception of the latter, the app offers users one year's free access before requesting that they cough up $0.99 a year to continue using the service.
The payment model for Apple's hallowed device works differently, as users are immediately charged $0.99 without a free trial, which grants them endless usage, but TechCrunch reports this is about to change.
A new iPhone monetisation model is in the making, which will apply to new users, and it will fall in line with the price plan of other platforms, according to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum. He says: "We’re relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It’s on the road map," insisting the change is being made to "keep things simple."
Meanwhile, he brushed off talk of launching as a desktop app and noted how important mobile is, saying: "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."
Facebook was rumoured to acquire WhatsApp at the end of last year, but Koum waived the noise to say: We don’t have one [an exit strategy] because we don’t plan or want to think about it. We want to focus on good products."
He continued to add that the company has good relationships with operators despite stunting SMS revenues, explaining some deals enable networks to exploit WhatsApp as part of a price plan when users are overseas.