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(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp has announced it will abruptly stop supporting many older smartphones in the New Year.

The decision mirrors WhatsApp's announcement from last year, when it said it planned to drop support for many mobile platforms. Jump forward to now, and the Facebook-owned app has confirmed cut-off dates for all phones running BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone 8.0. Starting 31 December 2017, owners of those devices will no longer be able to create new WhatsApp accounts or re-verify existing accounts.

However, they'll be able to continue using the popular messaging app. WhatsApp warned that because it will no longer actively develop for those platforms, some features in the app might stop working at any time. Also, in one year, on 31 December 2018, owners of the Nokia S40 will be shown the door. Finally, users of Android version 2.3.7 and older will lose support from 1 February 2020, so they still have quite a while.

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The company noted that, when WhatsApp started in 2009, the mobile device landscape looked very different from today. (Most of the phones sold then were BlackBerry or Nokia.) “This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better," it said. "If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone.”

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If you're unaffected by this announcement, go here to see our WhatsApp guide to learn about some nifty WhatsApp tips and tricks:

Writing by Elyse Betters.
Sections WhatsApp Apps