An online petition has been created on petition platform change.org seeking to convince Facebook, the owners of WhatsApp, to reverse its decision to drop support for older platforms like Nokia’s Symbian and BlackBerry OS.
Touting WhatsApp’s new status as “the de facto standard for mobile communication”, the petition states that more than 10 million users will be affected when WhatsApp ends support for the old platforms.
WhatsApp recently announced that it will be ending support for old versions of mobile operating systems from Nokia, Microsoft and Google. Additionally, support for all versions of BlackBerry’s operating system including the relatively newer BB10 platform will be dropped by the end of the year. WhatsApp had noted that recent versions of Android, iOS and Windows Phone/Mobile accounted for 99.5% of all its users and that there was no need to keep supporting older versions of the platforms and others that were popular when the service went live more than 7 years ago.
Interestingly, the petition does not mention Android (Eclair and Froyo) and Windows Phone (7.1) whose support will also be terminated. It only mentions BlackBerry (OS) and Nokia (Symbian) devices.
Support for the respective platforms will stop at the end of 2016 with the apps no longer being updated to support newer features. It is not clear if they will still be fully functional after that.
While WhatsApp is touting the numbers as informing its decision to drop support for old platforms and devices, the decision may also have been informed by the new features that have been added to the service over the last few months and many more that are expected like the ability to make video calls. Just recently, WhatsApp made available a long-awaited feature, document sharing. Several more features are expected soon.