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Originally posted on TechCrunch:
While messaging has become a veritable war with apps like Line, KakaoTalk, WeChat, Path and Facebook Messenger across Asia and Western markets, there’s been one longstanding app that’s presided over the space with very few apparent changes.
WhatsApp, the Sequoia-backed messaging app that dominates in Europe and that is often tipped as an attractive acquisition candidate for companies like Google and Facebook, just went freemium finally on iOS. The app has been paid for years on the iPhone at a $0.99 price point.
But today it went free with an annual subscription fee of $1 after the first year. This isn’t really a surprise as CEO Jan Koum talked about this several months ago. It brings WhatsApp’s business model on iOS in line with other platforms like Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Phone.
The paid app business model is really a vestige of an older era when developers would…
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