WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging services, has said it is going to drop support for many older phones, arguing that they could hold back the app’s growth.
All Blackberry phones, as well as some Nokia and Android phones, are going to stop being supported by the end of the year, the company has announced.
“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 wrote in a blog post.
The support will be cut back from every BlackBerry phone, including those that run the relatively new BlackBerry 10. It will also hit the Nokia S40, the Nokia Symbian S60 and any phone running Android 2.1 or 2.2 or Windows Phone 7.1.
BlackBerry, in 2014 alone, sold 7 million handsets, meaning that at least tens of millions of phones will be affected by the decision.
The company also said that those people that still have the affected phones should get newer ones before the end of the year in order to continue availing the app’s services.
“This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp,” the company wrote in its blog post.
“If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp,” it added.
The decision comes as part of the company’s plans to add more security tools and new features to the popular app.