On this New Years eve, WhatsApp stopped working on a range of older smartphones as the messaging service no longer supports Smartphones running Android 2.2 or older versions and iPhones running iOS6 or older versions. As well as this WhatsApp no longer supports Windows Phone 7.
This will effect any WhatsApp users who old devices will no longer let them upgrade or users who can upgrade but do not wish to do so. As a result, access to WhatsApp will be lost.
WhatsApp has added sophisticated features over the past few years including voice and video calling. It has also increased its security for all its users by pushing end to end encryption.
When commenting about the loss of support for older device WhatsApp said, “it was a difficult decision for the company to cut access to older devices, but insisted that older mobile operating systems don't "offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future”.
Currently, WhatsApp is popular worldwide and is used by 1 billion users per month. Emerging markets with a widespread use of older technology are likely to be most affected, including India with 160 million users reliant on the messaging service.
Further support will be lost in June. Blackberry 10 OS, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 are among devices that will no longer be supported by the messaging App.
It will be tough for users of older devices to find a service similar to WhatsApp that they can run. Similar services that have pulled away from supporting these devices include Telegram who are no longer supporting Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or lower. Microsoft Skype is not supporting Android versions older than 4.0.3 or iOS 7. Even Facebook Messenger does not support these older models. This will force users to consider purchasing a newer smartphone if they rely on WhatsApp features.