Launched in 2009, WhatsApp turned seven years old last week. The messaging platform has gone through a lot of changes from the time it was introduced. Some of the changes include addition of new features, enhancements, introduction of a slew of new emojis and improving the security aspects. However, now, WhatsApp is apparently planning to retire some of the supported platforms.
When WhatsApp became mainstream, about 70 percent of smartphones were reportedly made by BlackBerry and Nokia. At that point, Apple had just launched the app store. As of today, Google, Apple and Microsoft account for about 99.5 percent of smartphone sales, whereas in 2009 time frame, the same trio accounted for less than 25 percent, according to WhatsApp.
Keeping the market share and preferred OS in mind, WhatsApp Messenger will end support for the following devices and platforms. It is worth noting that the support will be cut off towards the end of 2016.
- BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10
- Nokia S40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7.1
“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,” the company said in its official blogpost. “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.”
Facebook’s WhatsApp team has also recommended users owning smartphones running one of the operating systems mentioned above to upgrade to the newer version of Android or Windows Phone, before the end of 2016 to continue using the Messenger. However, BlackBerry owners might have to purchase a new device supported by WhatsApp or switch to other messaging platforms.