WhatsApp has revealed that it plans to drop support for the BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 as well as Windows Phone 8.0 and older by the end of the year. That means some capabilities of the Facebook-owned instant messaging app may no longer work as usual on those OS versions once support is ended on December 31, 2017. Keep in mind, however, that you will still be able to use the app on devices running those operating systems, though WhatsApp will no longer allow you to create new accounts or re-authenticate existing ones.
While the WhatsApp support for the BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8.0 will retire by New Year’s eve, the app will still continue to work on Android versions 2.3.7 and older until February 1, 2020 as well as on Nokia S40 until December 31, 2018. The extension of support for Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread and older versions of Google’s mobile operating system until 2020 was announced in June of this year. The latest move is part of a broader effort to get users to upgrade to a newer OS version, including Android 4.0 and later, iOS 7 and newer, or Windows Phone 8.1 and higher, as the instant messaging platform intends to expand the features of the app in the future. Some of the recent changes WhatsApp added to its instant messaging solution include the feature called Live Location, designed to let users share their dynamic location in real time with contacts. Last October, WhatsApp also started rolling out a feature that lets users delete messages for everyone, banishing the message from the recipient’s conversation as well as from the senders’. This September, the company also announced that it was planning to launch new tools designed to let businesses use of the service to keep in touch with their customers. It remains to be seen what other features WhatsApp plans to introduce to its platform in the future.
WhatsApp notes in its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that the older operating systems such as the ones mentioned above do not meet the standards required for future development of the app, thus the need to end support for those platforms. In February last year, the WhatsApp team announced the end of support for older operating systems such as Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Windows Phone 7.1, BlackBerry OS (including BlackBerry 10), Android 2.1 Eclair and Android 2.2 Froyo.