July 17, 2013
Today we released a new version of WhatsApp for iPhone. This is our first update this year and it brings a few major changes we're excited to tell you about.
First, we are updating our business model for new iPhone users going forward. As you know, we used to charge iPhone users a $.99 one time payment, while Android and other platforms had free service for the first year and paid $0.99 a year after that. From now on, we've simplified our business model so that all users on all platforms will enjoy their first year of WhatsApp service for free, and only pay $.99 per year after that. We feel that this model will allow us to become the communications service of the 21st century, and provide you the best way to stay in touch with your friends and family with no ads getting in the way. The good news for all current iPhone users is that WhatsApp will be free of charge for the rest of your life.
Second, we've added an option to backup your message history to iCloud. We spent the last six months working to make iCloud backup as simple and user friendly as possible. On your iPhone, go into 'WhatsApp Settings > Chat Settings > Chat Backup' if you want to back up your conversation history. When you reinstall the app, you will be prompted to restore from iCloud during the initialization process.
Third, since we're engineers at heart, we've introduced developer hooks into WhatsApp. We've had many other iOS developers ask us for API hooks to make interfacing with WhatsApp easy. Now you can do that. Learn more here.
That's all folks. We hope you will enjoy this new release.