WhatsApp is to drop support for many older phones, arguing that they could hold back the app’s growth.
All Blackberry phones, as well as some Nokia and Android ones, are going to stop being supported by the end of the year, the company has announced.
“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,” the company wrote in a blog post that made much of the fact that the app launched into a vastly different market.
Every BlackBerry phone will be hit by the decision, including those that run the relatively new BlackBerry 10. It will also hit the Nokia S40, the Nokia Symbian S60 and any phone running Android 2.1 or 2.2 or Windows Phone 7.1.
BlackBerry sold 7 million phones in 2014 alone, meaning that at least tens of millions of phones will be affected by the decision.
The company said that those people that still have the affected phones should get newer ones before the end of the year.
“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,” the company wrote in its blog post. “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.”
The company said that the decision had been made to help it with its plans to add more security tools and new features.