The news spread on Twitter a few hours ago, following an initial tweet from The Press Trust of India. Regardless of whether accounts are closed or functions restricted, WhatsApp has removed all pressure points on users who would not sign the new contract.
A WhatsApp spokesman has just confirmed this in a blog post. Here’s what we can read: “After May 15th, you can continue to accept updates. […] For those who haven’t had the opportunity to do so, their accounts will not be deleted and will not lose functionality on May 15th. We will continue to remind these users of WhatsApp in the coming weeks. “
In the past few weeks, the idea of completely deleting accounts from WhatsApp was finally ditched, but the application still stated that its users could no longer write or receive messages.
This is the second time WhatsApp has extended the deadline. In January, messaging was moved from February 8th to May 15th, the amount of time users can sign the new policy. “We know there has been confusion and misinformation about this update and we want to help everyone understand our principles and facts,” his team said at the time.
However, the context between these two episodes seems to be very different. For the past few days, WhatsApp has prided itself on bringing large numbers of users into compliance (it must be said the pressure has been strong) which might explain why it is now allowing itself to take advantage of this media stunt.
The number of users increased as of March 31, 2021 from 3.3 billion on December 31 and 3.21 billion on September 30 to 3.45 billion active users per month. The exodus of hundreds of thousands of people to alternatives to WhatsApp like Signal and Telegram seems to confirm that the same users didn’t delete WhatsApp for all of that.
“We have spent the last few months providing more information about our update to users around the world,” said the WhatsApp spokesman. “By now, the majority of recipients have accepted the update and WhatsApp continues to grow,” he added. By releasing ballast, WhatsApp manages to deviate a little from its rigid stance that it has adopted since February.