Perhaps the most shocking news of the year is here. Just at the onset of year-end, Facebook has confirmed that its mobile-messaging app WhatsApp would stop working on a number of platforms from December 31st.
The popular messaging app made this announcement earlier in this year itself with the explanation that now it is mainly looking forward to the iOS and Android platforms.
Also, in a recent blog post, the company explained their decision by adding to it that, “As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use”.
So, this messaging app would drop its support for ‘BlackBerry OS’, ‘BlackBerry 10’, ‘Windows Phone 8.0’ and older platforms, from December 31, 2017. BlackBerry has shifted to Android this year, but older handsets still use its own in-house software. Even Microsoft has admitted defeat when it comes to its mobile OS, so the lack of WhatsApp support shouldn’t come as a surprise.
To this, the company further added that “We will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time. These platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer OS version, or to a newer Android running OS 4.0+, iPhone running iOS 7+, or Windows Phone 8.1+ so that you can continue using WhatsApp”.
WhatsApp itself has been around since 2009 and has slowly added numerous features one by one, listing end-to-end encryption and video calling. Because of its cross-platform support it has also become the most popular messaging platform in the world. Even though it has over a billion users, many of whom have older phones, and the changes in technology mean it has to phase out compatibility to keep security up to date.
To this, the company had to say that, “This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp”.
Lastly, WhatsApp added that it would not work on ‘Nokia S40’ after December 2018. Also, the app would stop functioning correctly on Android OS version 2.3.7 and older, after February 1, 2020.