WhatsApp to drop BlackBerry, Windows Phone OS

Businesses that use WhatsApp to help their employees stay in touch may need to rethink their strategy after the company revealed it would be not longer support BlackBerry and Windows Phone systems.

From December 31st, the popular instant messaging service, which has over two billion users worldwide, will end support for BlackBerry OS (including the latest BlackBerry 10 service) and versions of Windows Phone.

After this date, devices using these software versions and older will no longer be able to use WhatsApp - although Android and iOS will still be supporting.

In a blog post explaining the move, WhatsApp said that the move followed an earlier decision to stop developing its services for the software.

"These platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future," the company said.

“Because we will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time.”

"If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer OS version, or to a newer Android running OS 4.0+, iPhone running iOS 7+, or Windows Phone 8.1+ so that you can continue using WhatsApp."

WhatsApp does not currently allow for chat histories to be transferred between devices, but users can send their conversation details attached via an email.

Given that BlackBerry devices are now powered by Android, and that Microsoft pulled support for Windows Phone some time back, the decision may not be too much of a surprise. However many businesses still use either BlackBerry or Windows Phone devices due to their enterprise-friendly services, so may need to upgrade soon.