Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp will no longer be working on millions of smartphones from 1 February.
WhatsApp said it is necessary to block people who are running older versions of the Android or iOS operating systems in order to protect the security of its users.
“Because we no longer actively develop for these operating systems, some features might stop functioning at any time,” a WhatsApp blog post explained.
“For the best experience, we recommend you use the latest version of iOS [or Android] available for your phone.”
With the latest update, users on unsupported devices will no longer be able to create new accounts or re-verify existing accounts.
“WhatsApp clearly had no option but to ensure its service remains secure, however, it faces the difficult side-effect that the app is no longer compatible with older smartphones,” said CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood.
“This is likely to disproportionally impact the long-tail of its users, particularly in growth markets where there is a high proportion of older devices.”
Earlier on Tuesday, WhatsApp said that it will launch a dark mode feature for its iPhone users with the launch of an update for the beta version on Google play platform.
The messaging app launched in 2009, every year removes support for devices that ‘don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future’.