The long and short of WhatsApp’s original plan was that if no one immediately lost access to the app, those who resisted would receive an increasing number of nagging reminders, with features gradually wiped out over the course of a few weeks. While the company has assured users that nobody’s accounts will be deleted as a result of the changes, there is a 120-day inactivity suppression policy that could potentially occur.
But the company has now changed its mind and the support page has been updated to reflect this. You can compare and contrast the current page and Internet Archive Edition to see the changes, but the main one to remember is that there is no longer a threat of reduced functionality, with WhatsApp now saying there is “no plan” for such punishment.
“We currently do not expect these reminders to become persistent and limit the functionality of the app,” the page said, explaining that “the majority of users who saw the update have accepted.”
The company expanded on the reasoning in a statement sent to The next web. “In view of recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to clarify that we currently have no plans to limit the functionality of WhatsApp to work for those who have not yet accepted the update,” explains the ‘explanation.
“Instead, we’ll continue to remind users from time to time of the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, such as communicating with a business that is supported by Facebook.”
WhatsApp was facing severe crackdown from privacy-conscious consumers leaving the service for rival options such as Telegram and Signal, and governments opposing the update; Germany, turkey and India, for example, all denounced the changes. If the new support page is correct and the “majority” of users have agreed to the new terms, then parent company Facebook may have just decided that it has had enough, and that chasing the last users is not worth it. public relations backlash.
Whatever the reason, if you refuse to agree to WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions, it looks like you’ve won the battle of wills and won’t have to agree to your data being shared with businesses. While WhatsApp doesn’t rule out another round of tough tactics going forward, for now you can breathe easy.