WhatsApp Ditching Support for Older Devices – PC Magazine

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Addicted to WhatsApp? There are plenty of people who use the popular messaging service—more than one billion each month, according to the company’s figures as of the start of February. Well, Facebook’s figures, technically, since Facebook acquired WhatsApp for around $21.8 billion in 2014 (for $4 billion in cash and a lot more in common stock and restricted stock units).

That figure might drop a smidge, though, once WhatsApp officially ends its support for super-old smartphones by the end of this year. It’s unclear whether that means WhatsApp will be fading out support for older smartphones over the year, or whether you might have until the countdown on New Year’s Eve to get a new device that works with the app. At least, that’s what WhatsApp itself recommends: That you upgrade to a new iPhone, Android phone, or Windows Phone by the end of the year if you want to keep chatting with your friends on the app.

“Earlier this week WhatsApp turned seven years old. 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,” reads a blog post from WhatsApp on Friday.

“But anniversary dates are also an opportunity to look back. 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. 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 official list of devices that WhatsApp is dropping support for isn’t too big, with a few notable exceptions. BlackBerry devices are out (including those running BlackBerry 10, WhatsApp specifies). The Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 won’t be supported anymore, nor will any Android 2.1 or Android 2.2 devices (a very small number, anyway). Finally, WhatsApp will no longer work on Windows Phone 7.1 at some point before the end of the year.

“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,” reads WhatsApp’s blog post.

“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.”

WhatsApp Ditching Support for Older Devices – PC Magazine