WhatsApp will stop working on a selection of smartphones and mobile platforms in the New Year.
From January 1st 2018, the messenger service won’t be available on any handsets running Windows Phone 8.0 (or older versions of the operating system), BlackBerry OS or BlackBerry 10.
The company made the announcement in an update to a blog post that was originally published in February 2016. The announcement went thus:
“When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today. The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia,” it reads.
“Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 percent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time.”
The platforms that are being cut off are unpopular, and have been for some time. The company ended support for Nokia Symbian S60 devices in June.
It is also planning to cut off support for Nokia S40 devices on the 31st of December, 2018 and phones running Android versions 2.3.7 and older on the 1st of February, 2020.
Although these platforms are still supported, WhatsApp is no longer actively developing for them, which means some features could stop functioning at any moment.
The company’s blog post said that, “While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.”
“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.”
“If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone.”