Bad news for the owners of Nokia, Symbian, BlackBerry and older Android devices – WhatsApp… no more. Facebook announced its plans to stop supporting the outdated devices by the end of 2016.
“This was a tough decision for us to make,” says the official announcement. The decision stems from the limitations of the older devices (and some platforms) that can not offer the features WhatsApp plans to roll out in the future.
The messenger recently turned seven years old, with one billion active monthly users all over the world. So at the time the app first launched people were sporting different breed of phones – Nokias and BlackBerrys, and a few iPhones. Now, the majority of sold devices are Android, iOS and Windows Phone. So, in order to keep up with the most popular platforms, WhatsApp is wrapping up the support of the following devices:
BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10
Nokia Symbian S60
Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
Windows Phone 7.1
WhatsApp recommends the owners of these devices to upgrade to a newer device by the end of the year if they want to keep using the messenger. It’s a shame because the app is the number one choice in many developing countries where older devices are still largely in use. As justified as this move is, those still sporting a Nokia might be unable to afford a new Android, let alone iPhone.
Alas, the direct competitors to WhatsApp are pushing new features and Facebook needs its product to stay relevant. Hence, new features are on their way. Namely, the video calls, a feature which has been the reason many Latin American users believed the malware-spreading messages that offered the video calling capability as a separate download were sent by WhatsApp. The feature is rumored to be in the works at WhatsApp, indeed.