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Mobile Communications

WhatsApp gives up on BlackBerry, Nokia, and more

Facebook-owned WhatsApp recently turned seven years old. What better way to celebrate the milestone than cutting ties with the past? This past weekend, the popular messaging app said it will cease support for seven aging and little-used operating systems by the end of 2016. No, smart alecks, Windows 10 Mobile isn't on the list—but Blackberry 10 is.

In fact, all versions of BlackBerry are set to go WhatsApp-less, along with Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and 2.2 (Eclair and Froyo), and Windows Phone 7.1.

WhatsApp says these operating systems are getting the boot because they don’t have the ability to support upcoming features the service has planned. The company also said it wants to turn its attention to “the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use” instead of supporting legacy operating systems with dwindling user bases.

Why this matters: With one billion monthly active users worldwide, WhatsApp is a “must-have” app for a big slice of the world. Whenever an app with that kind of user base starts dumping platforms—even older ones—a good portion of users will be upset. It’s not surprising to see BlackBerry disappear, though. The platform has been struggling for years, falling far behind even Windows phones, according to the latest global smartphone market share report from research firm IDC. (Note: PCWorld and IDC are both owned by International Data Group.)

If you're using a phone running one of these doomed operating systems you have until the end of 2016 to get a WhatsApp-compatible phone, though WhatsApp didn’t specify an exact end date for any of the platforms.

IDG Insider

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