By the end of 2016, there will be no Whatsapp messenger for Blackberry users

As WhatsApp turned seven last week, it announced the birth of new and improved features underway and also the fact that it will cease support for certain operating systems by the end of the year.

The Facebook owned company said its decision was simply based on the fact that mobile devices have evolved overtime, hence the need to let go of less-used operating systems. “When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today… About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia.”

According to Whatsapp, when the company started, certain mobile operating systems used widely today, such as those offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft, were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time. But today, these operating systems account for 99.5 percent of sales and they are used by the vast majority.

Therefore, by the end of 2016, Whatsapp will be ending support for its messenger on BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1. “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 said.

Whatsapp wants you to upgrade

This latest decision by Whatsapp is set to upset quite a number of people, as the messenger boasts an enormous number of one billion active users worldwide each month. The app has made instant messaging cheap and easily available to almost everyone, but this latest decision means that certain individuals, who cannot afford phones with higher operating systems ,will need to forego their favourite messenger.

While it is understandable that mobile operating systems such as Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2, are getting the boot, the company’s decision to cease support for all Blackberry phones is both surprising and not at the same time; though the platform has been struggling for years, a large chunk of smartphone users own a Blackberry, so, one would have expected a little bit of consideration.

The company did admit that it was a tough decision to make, but one that had to be made “in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family and loved ones using WhatsApp.” Users of any of the affected mobile devices are advised to upgrade to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016.

“It has been an amazing journey and in the coming months we’re putting an even greater emphasis on security features and more ways to stay in touch with the people that you care about.” About 42 billion messages, 1.6 billion photos, and 250 million videos are shared on the Whatsapp messenger every day.

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