WhatsApp is about to stop working for millions of users this week, following the chat app's decision to drop support in 2017 for a number of mobile platforms. Those running an old iPhone, Nokia, or Android devices should look to upgrade as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, 2017 might not be off to the best of starts for some WhatsApp users.
The world’s most popular chat app, which currently boasts more than one billion active users, has confirmed that it will end support for a number of ageing smartphone operating systems – leaving millions unable to send or receive messages, create GIFs, make VOIP phone calls or video chats within the Facebook-owned chat app.
Earlier this year, the messenger announced that older versions of Android and iOS, as well as BlackBerry and Nokia devices would no longer be supported by the chat app.
The company has advised anyone running any of the named devices to buy a newer phone model before the end of 2016.
WhatsApp confirmed that as 2016 came to close, WhatsApp would no longer work on the iPhone 3GS, Windows Phone 7 devices, and phones running Android 2.1 or Android 2.2.
WhatsApp first announced the change back in February when the chat app celebrated its seventh birthday.
The Facebook company – which was recently subject to a severe security warning – says technology has changed dramatically since its birth, something which led to its decision to drop support for ageing mobile platforms. In an official statement on the company blog, WhatsApp writes: "As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.
"So, by the end of 2016, we will be ending support for WhatsApp Messenger on some mobile platforms.
"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.
"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."
Although no official date has been set for switch-off it appears that, come January 1st, there could be a lot of WhatsApp fans in desperate need of smartphone upgrade.
WhatsApp updated its initial blog post to confirm that it will extend support BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 until June 30, 2017.
Fortunately, WhatsApp is adding a slew of new features to those apps still supported by the company.
Video calling was launched last month on iOS, Android and Windows devices.
The feature, which allows callers to see one another via the front-facing camera when they chat over a home wifi or mobile data connection.
In a statement, WhatsApp said: "We’re introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough."