Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has stopped working on older smartphones. Anyone using a smartphone running Android 2.2 Froyo or older versions of Android, apart from an iPhone 3GS or iOS 6 and lower versions of iOS, will find that WhatsApp has stopped working on their smartphones. Notably, the market share of these devices is quite low – 0.1 percent for devices running Android 2.2 Froyo, 2.6 percent for devices running iOS 6, and the iPhone 3GS is itself a 7-year-old phone. Windows Phone 7 users will also be affected in the same manner.
The Facebook-owned company has advised that anyone with the above-mentioned older handsets who want to keep chatting with friends via WhatsApp will need to buy a newer phone or upgrade to a newer operating system.
WhatsApp had initially said that all BlackBerry (those not running Android) models and some Nokia handsets would also find themselves unable to get onto the chat app. But in November last year, it gave these users a reprieve until June 30, 2017.
“We are extending support for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 until June 30, 2017,” the company wrote in an update to its blog.
The changes are arguably largely to allow WhatsApp to more deeply integrate encryption and other privacy services. Such technology stops messages from being read, and has led to WhatsApp facing criticism from governments who believe that WhatsApp conversations should be made public.
It’s also likely to allow for more rapid introduction of new features. Rumoured updates scheduled in 2017 include a new feature that would allow people to edit or entirely delete messages after they have been sent.