Rumor: WhatsApp Coming to iOS with Paid Subscription Model

In a move that could be a game changer for mobile messaging on iOS, WhatsApp – a well known and incredibly popular mobile messaging app – may be inbound to iOS-powered devices near you.

Tech Crunch reports that the app, which “eschews advertising in favor of a paid model,” will soon roll out an annual subscription service.

Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s CEO, says that the company is planning this year to shift its iOS app to one where new users would pay annually to keep using, taking it away from a one-off download fee and bringing it in line with how it is distributed on the Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Phone platforms.

As we understand it, the new subscription model would only apply to new users. The app would remain free for the first year but cost $1 per year subsequently.

“We’re relaxed on dates, but definitely this year. It’s on the road map,” Koum said of his service, which now transmits 17 billion messages daily.