Jan Koum, Co-founder, WhatsApp

Popular messaging app WhatsApp will discontinue service for several devices on the 31st of December. They include The messaging app will drop support for ‘BlackBerry OS’, ‘BlackBerry 10’, ‘Windows Phone 8.0’ and older platforms, from December 31, 2017.

What does this mean ?

Consumers using those devices will be unable to reverify their accounts or create new ones. The app could also stop working at any point in time.

Why is this being done ?

In  a statement posted on its website, the company said the move was due to the inability of those platforms to offer the features it plans on introducing in the future. WhatsApp had made an earlier move to discontinue support, but extended it after outcry from users.

While the company may not be willing to admit this publicly, the platforms being cut off have lost massive market share, and may not be worth the resources being spent to support them.

Moving forward

Consumers are advised to upgrade to devices with a newer Operating System namely  such as Android running OS 4.0+, iPhone running iOS 7+, or Windows Phone 8.1+ so that you can continue using WhatsApp.

What happens to chat history ?

While WhatsApp currently does not provide transfer of chat history between platforms, users are given the option of sending their chat history by email.

Implications of the move

For consumers around the world, they may have to budget buying a new phone immediately, as WhatsApp has implied that the app could stop working at any time.

WhatsApp was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009, and acquired by Facebook in 2104 for $19 billion. Co-founder Acton, in September resigned this year to start a foundation. The app currently has over 1 billion monthly users, making it one of the most popular in the world.

Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy. You can contact him via onome.ohwovoriole@nairametrics.com

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