With over one billion monthly users, WhatsApp has been phasing out compatibility with older phones in a technology upgrade. By end of 2017, several older services would be discontinued, the company has said in a blog post.
“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they do not offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,” says WhatsApp.
The company wants to direct its focus their efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use and hence would stop supporting certain phones moving forward.
“When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people's use of mobile devices looked very different from today. The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia. Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 percent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time," the blog post reads.
WhatsApp will stop working on iPhone 3GS devices and will also stop being supported on any device running iOS 6. The service will also stop on any first, second, third or fourth generation iPad that has not been updated. Users need to update to iOS 9.3 to use the service.
Phones or tablets running on Android 2.1 or 2.2 operating system will not be supported post-2016.
The messaging platform will not be available on Windows 7 running devices and if you are still using Windows 7, you need to update the device as soon as possible to be able to keep up with it.
“This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp, adds the post.
However, WhatsApp is extending support for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 until June 30, 2017.