WhatsApp to stop working on some smartphones on New Year's Eve

Johannesburg - New Year's Eve will mark the last day that popular instant messenger WhatsApp functions on some smartphones and operating systems. 

WhatsApp support for BlackBerry OS, including BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone 8 will cease on December 31 2017, according to a blogpost published by WhatsApp. 

The post was first published in 2016, but was recently updated to spell out when support for certain phones and platforms would end. 

In addition to stopping support for BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone 8, support for the Nokia S40 will end after December 31 2018, while WhatsApp support for Android versions 2.3.7 and older is expected to cease after February 1 2020.

The Facebook-owned instant messenger app had previously announced that support for these devices would cease by the end of 2016, but due to popular usage the service was extended.

“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don't offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future,” WhatsApp said in its blogpost. 

“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,” the company said. 

While the original post stated it would cut support for the iPhone 3GS/iOS 6, the updated post did not mention iPhone by name. 

Once support has been cut, WhatsApp said it would "no longer actively develop for these platforms" and as a result "some features may stop functioning at any time".

The eight-year-old app currently sees over one billion users a day. It was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19bn.

WhatsApp crashed twice in November, upsetting millions around the world. The app was reported to have experienced at least four to five major glitches which knocked out service in 2017.

The worst of these was when the service was interrupted for at least 6 hours at the beginning of November, and about 2 hours at the end of November. 

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