Launched in 2010, WhatsApp is a popular cross-platform instant messaging system used to send images, video, text messages, user location and audio messages to other mobile numbers via internet. It was acquired by Facebook Inc. for approximately US$19.3 billion on February 19, 2014. WhatsApp has recently announced they’ll be dropping support for several mobile operating systems from next year i.e. 2017. Those operating system are all BlackBerry Operating Systems, Nokia Symbian S40 and Symbian S60, Windows Phone 7.1, Android 2.1 Eclair and Android 2.2 Froyo.
“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,” said the company. In the blog post that the company made this announcement, they explained why they are taking such a step. Like we all know that WhatsApp was founded in 2010 and the market has changed quiet a lot since then. Back then around 70% of devices had BlackBerry and Nokia’s operating systems. And only 25% of devices ran on Android and iOS.
The blog post added, “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 before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp.”
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BlackBerry has earlier hinted at a mid-range Android phone that is supposed to be launched this year. So things aren’t too bleak for the company. Its probably worth mentioning that the company had assured Blackberry 10 OS users that the OS isn’t going to be wiped off completely and that the company has been panning to release a version 10.3.4 at the end of this year, that’ll come with improved security. One can’t find the Android 2.1 Eclair version in Google’s own distribution list. As for Windows Phone 7.1. Android 2.2 Froyo, Microsoft s no longer supporting them.
WhatsApp has taken this step after much deliberation. This year the app would turn seven years old and in their blog they said, “nearly one in seven people on Earth who use WhatsApp each month to stay in touch with their loved ones, their friends and their family.”