WhatsApp Will Stop Its Services for BlackBerry, Nokia, Also Older Androids and Windows

By Staff Writer

Mar 01, 2016 07:14 AM EST

Messaging app WhatsApp announced that it would stop supporting older smartphones, such as BlackBerry and several older Nokia phones. The announcement was made along with the app's seventh anniversary earlier this week. The change would take effect by the end of 2016.

WhatsApp stated in a blog post that they want to focus their efforts on the mobile platforms that the vast majority of people use, such as operating systems offered by Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Those three operating systems account for 99.5 percent of sales today. The situations were reversed from 2009 when about 70 percent of smartphones had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia.

The messaging app listed the mobile platforms that they would no longer support by the end of the year. BlackBerry was one of them, followed by Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60. WhatsApp will also stop its support for older Android operating systems, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2. Windows Phone 7.1 will also be affected by the change. "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," WhatsApp wrote.

According to TheStar, WhatsApp recommends users who use a mobile device where its service will be phased out to upgrade to newer smartphones with Android, iOS, or Windows operating systems if they want to still use the app. WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps with more than 1 billion users around the world.

With the decision to drop its support for older mobile platforms, WhatsApp aims to develop its features for users. Recently, WhatsApp updated its iOS client with new sharing and customization features, as reported by Apple Insider. They redesigned the media browser, making it easier for users to view their shared pictures and video. New options for chat display was also added, allowing users to share videos and photos directly from other outside sources like Dropbox.

The company is also experimenting with other commercial services for revenue streams, as noted by MailOnline. Last month the messaging app announced that it had abandoned its 99 cent subscription fee and will allow its users to chat for free. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, and some changes and improvements have been made ever since.

WhatsApp's decision to stop supporting older mobile platforms including Blackberry and Nokia would enable them to further improve the service without having to limit the features according to older smartphones' capabilities. The messaging app will stop its support for older smartphones by the end of 2016. 

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