WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform, noted this past week marked the seventh anniversary of their launch. In conjunction with that milestone, they took the opportunity to announce the end of support for WhatsApp Messenger on several mobile platforms. At the top of the list is the end of support for all versions of the BlackBerry operating system. Older versions of Google’s operating system, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2, were included on the list.
According to recent version distribution information, Android 2.2 only accounts for 0.1% of the Android market. Android 2.1 is presumably less than that, meaning the number of users impacted in the Android ecosystem should be minimal.
More surprising is the news that all support for BlackBerry is being dropped. WhatsApp noted that when they launched in 2009, around 70 percent of smartphones sold shipped with either BlackBerry or Nokia operating systems. Today, the tables have turned and operating systems from Google, Apple and Microsoft account for 99.5% of units sold.
Joining BlackBerry and the older versions of Android in losing support from WhatsApp are the Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60 and Windows Phone 7.1 platforms. WhatsApp says support will come to a close before the end of 2016. The move will enable the WhatsApp developers to focus their efforts on mobile platforms that the majority of their customers are using.