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WhatsApp rolls out new iPhone app

17 July 2013, 13:30 Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Instant messaging platform WhatsApp has announced a new model for iPhone users with the latest version of its software.

The company said that the popular platform will be free to download, but an annual subscription of $0.99 will come into effect.

"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," the company said.

The new WhatsApp platform also allows message backup to the internet cloud so that users will not lose messages should they re-install the application.

The instant messaging space has seen a spike in growth as users typically pay for data consumption rather than for individual messages.

The race to provide accessibility has seen companies racing to provide cross-platform applications and recently, BlackBerry announced that its BBM service would become available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

In SA, Mxit continues to show high user numbers, even though it's rooted in feature phones. As smartphones become more popular, the platform has re-invested itself to boost user engagement.

WeChat from Tencent has also seen healthy growth in China, and the platform recently launched in SA across multiple platforms.

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