WhatsApp is dropping support for little-used operating systems


There’s a point where even a company as large as WhatsApp can’t be bothered to maintain apps for little-used operating systems, which is why the company has decided to stop supporting its messaging app on seven mobile platforms: Android 2.1 and Android 2.2, BlackBerry and BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60, and Windows Phone 7.1. WhatsApp announced the decision on Friday, and clarified that, while many of these operating systems had an important part to play in the company’s early days, they now account for a fraction of the market, and WhatsApp wants to shift its focus entirely to platforms that people actually use. 

Addicted to WhatsApp? There are plenty of people who use the popular messaging service—more than one billion each month, according to the company’s figures as of the start of February. Well, Facebook’s figures, technically, since Facebook acquired WhatsApp for around $21.8 billion in 2014 (for $4 billion in cash and a lot more in common stock and restricted stock units). That figure might drop a smidge, though, once WhatsApp officially ends its support for super-old smartphones by the end of this year. It’s unclear whether that means WhatsApp will be fading out support for older smartphones over the year, or whether you might have until the countdown on New Year’s Eve to get a new device that works with the app. At least, that’s what WhatsApp itself recommends: That you upgrade to a new iPhone, Android phone, or Windows Phone by the end of the year if you want to keep chatting with your friends on the app. “Earlier this week WhatsApp turned seven years old. It has been an amazing journey and in the coming months we’re putting an even greater emphasis on security features and more ways to stay in touch with the people that you care about,” reads a blog post from WhatsApp on Friday.

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