WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum recently revealed in his statement to a Dutch journalist Alexander Klopping that the service will be introducing annual paid subscriptions to its iOS app this year. Once it takes effect, users will have to pay annually to use the app instead of paying a single download fee at the outset. The new subscription model will only apply to new users, and not to existing users. 

As it stands now, WhatsApp is a free app for the first year for Android and Windows Phone users, after which users are asked to pay to continue using the service. While Koum did not reveal as to when exactly would it introduce its new subscription model, he confirmed that it certainly will be this year. 


No plans of introducing it to desktop anytime soon

As per the excerpts from the interview on Dutch blog Tweakers, an interesting bit during the interview was when Koum was asked about the company's plans of introducing WhatsApp on the desktop. While he admitted to be receiving that question frequently, he added that the world is increasingly going mobile. “Your phone is always with you. People watch regularly on their phone, but they do not always look at their desktop. Therefore we want to focus only on mobile phones.” On a related note, speaking of changing trends whereby people have switched to WhatsApp for sending messages, Koum said, “People no longer drive on horses, but have switched to cars. The same applies to the telegraph, which was replaced by e-mail.”

WhatsApp recently released the new version APK on its website, bringing the sleek looking interface that conforms to the Holo guidelines phones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. 

The fonts look better than before and the over the top colour scheme is much more toned down with this update. Subtle colours for the app and the speech bubbles are what make this new UI look really exciting. Your smiley drawer has shifted homes and can be found to the left of your text line. Image previews too are now larger and the image window itself looks non-intrusive. 

The app’s old, overused user interface was probably the only drawback of the app, making it look like a coincidental clone of its iOS version. 

WhatsApp’s popularity is undoubtedly far more than any other cross-platform messaging app. Early in January, WhatsApp had even confirmed its newest record—on December 31, the service saw a record 18 billion messages being processed. The total number of messages comprised 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages. In a tweet on its official handle some time ago, WhatsApp stated, “On Dec 31st we had a new record day: 7B msgs inbound, 11B msgs outbound = 18 billion total messages processed in one day! Happy 2013!!!” 

It was only in August last year that WhatsApp managed to record 10 billion messages—comprising 6 billion outbound and 4 billion inbound messages. The company stated: “new daily record: 4B inbound, 6B outbound = 10B total messages a day! #freebsd #erlang.” WhatsApp attributed the difference in the number of outbound and inbound messages to group chats.

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