In February, 2016 WhatsApp announced on its blog that it would no longer support BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 devices after the end of the year. The Facebook-owned messenger app recently updated that blog post to say that they are extending support for these phones to June 30, 2017.
The move is presumably to give WhatsApp users on these devices additional time for them to change their devices to models that support mainstream mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS or even Windows Phone.
However, the following three OS versions will not be supported starting today:
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7
- iPhone 3GS/iOS 6
The chief reason given by WhatsApp for ending support for these mobile platforms was that they did not support the capabilities that WhatsApp would eventually introduce. That includes the video calling feature they recently added to the app.
WhatsApp has over a billion users across Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America, as well as a significant number of users in North America, Australia and other developed markets. It is Facebook’s first major investment in a messaging platform and was intended to expand the social media giant’s presence in the fast-growing domain of messaging apps.
However, Facebook then took a slightly divergent route and released Facebook Messenger as a standalone app that itself covers over a billion users now. As it stands, Facebook’s future plans for WhatsApp, including the possibility of monetization, remain unclear.
WhatsApp has continued to add security features and has pushed several updates to its users, and the current version of WhatsApp with video calling is version 2.16.352.
We assume that the messaging app will continue to receive regular updates as Facebook figures out how best to monetize the large user base that the application enjoys, but until something concrete comes from the team itself or the parent company the best we can expect is continued support for later OS versions until something big breaks on the news front.
Major milestones for the messaging app this year include:
- eliminating the subscription fee after the first free year,
- the announcement of 1 billion users,
- end of support for various older OS versions,
- enhanced security through end-to-end encryption,
- a new desktop app launch,
- 100 million calls being made per day,
- new features on the WhatsApp Camera and
- the most recent launch of video calling
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