A lot of people are now using WhatsApp as an efficient replacement for traditional text messaging, as more than one billion of users access the popular messaging service each month.
This is what the company reported at the beginning of February – or maybe we should say Facebook, since the social network has purchased WhatsApp for roughly $22 billion back in 2014 (only $4 billion of that was in cash; the rest was common stock and restricted stock units.
However, some news from WhatsApp says that by the end of this year, the messaging service will cease support for really old smartphones. It remains to be seen if this means WhatsApp will be gradually fading out its support over the year, or whether it will wait until New Year’s Eve.
But if you’re one of the people using WhatsApp from an older phone, the company doesn’t want to lose you as a customer: you are just advised to upgrade to a Windows Phone, Android smartphone or iPhone by the end of 2016.
If this recommendation doesn’t suit you, by the end of the year you’ll have to give up chatting with your friends on the app. WhatsApp wrote a blog post on Friday about the seventh anniversary of the platform.
“It has been an amazing journey and in the coming months we’re putting an even greater emphasis on security features and more ways to stay in touch with the people that you care about.”
However, WhatsApp also used this important new milestone to look back to the time when the smartphone market looked very different from today. The Apple Store was barely starting in 2009, and BlackBerry and Nokia had their operating systems running on about 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time.
But now, Apple, Google and Microsoft are responsible for 99.5 percent of sales today, so WhatsApp decided to drop support for the older generation. The list isn’t too long; all BlackBerry devices are out, in addition to the Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60.
The very small number of devices running on Android 2.1 or Android 2.2 will also say goodbye to the service, as well as Windows Phone 7.1 phone, according to WhatsApp.
As far as the reason behind the decision, the company’s blog post read 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.”
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