WhatsApp has over two billion monthly active users, which is well ahead of parent company Facebook’s own Messenger app and the company regularly adds features and updates to its apps for both iOS and Android to keep its users hooked on a permanent basis.
Rivals like Telegram and Signal are just waiting for WhatsApp to show a weakness for them to take advantage of, and they just might’ve found it.
The messaging service will stop working on old smartphones in two months, leaving millions of people unable to see messages. Needless to say, this will disappoint many of its users.
The app will remove support for a range of old smartphone models come November 1 – meaning millions could be left without access to their messages, photos, and videos.
Models from both Android and iOS will be unable to use the encrypted messaging service.
Smartphones models with Android 4.0.4 or earlier will become incompatible, as well as iPhones with iOS 9 or earlier installed.
The models that will be deemed outdated and incompatible with the messaging service are:
- Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, Trend II, Trend Lite, Core, Ace 2
- LG Optimus F7, F5, L3 II Dual, F7 II, F5 II
- Sony Xperia Huawei Ascend Mate and Ascend D2
- Apple iPhone SE, 6S, and 6S Plus
WhatsApp claims phasing out support for older phones will make the app run more securely. The messaging service has already lost many users over the last year due to ongoing security concerns over its new terms of service.
WhatsApp was traditionally known for its encrypted messaging service but recent changes to the way it handles users‘ data has created an uproar. These measures would hand user data to private companies for marketing purposes, as reported by news.com.au.
WhatsApp scrapped the plans following major backlash, which saw competitor Telegram surpass one billion downloads.
But for those who have updated phone models, Whatsapp has a new feature to let you choose who sees your ‘Last Seen’ status.
But will this handy option be enough to appease users? Could WhatsApp be seeking to appease its users?
After the privacy terms’ debacle, which spurred considerable backlash earlier this year, the messaging application is reportedly working on its settings once again.
The platform is reportedly adding a “My contacts except…” option, allowing users to select which contacts they share this information with.
According to Wabetainfo, the option is currently being tested on the iOS version of the app and should be rolled out to Android as well.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) September 8, 2021
For now, WhatsApp has not yet confirmed the launch of this update.