By this time next week the update will be in effect, and a support document first found by Bleeping Computer provides some insight into what will happen for users who chose not to accept the update.
To be clear, the update is not mandatory, but your experience on WhatsApp will impacted the longer you chose not to accept the terms of the update.
According to the aforementioned support document, “No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update.”
If you have not accepted the update until now, you may have seen a notification pop up on WhatsApp prompting you to accept. After the 15th May deadline, those notifications will become increasingly persistent, the company explains.
“After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent. At that time, you’ll encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until you accept the updates. This will not happen to all users at the same time,” the document adds.
In terms of access to features should you continue to ignore or choose not to update, WhatsApp has detailed what will happen:
- “You won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call.
- After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.”
As such, while the company expressly states that it will not delete or deactivate your account should you choose not to accept the 15th May update, by opting not to do so, your experience on the messaging service will become increasingly frustrating almost to the point of being unusable.
If there was a mass exodus from the platform at the beginning of the year, we shudder to think what the reaction will be after 15th May.
Either way WhatsApp, and by extension Facebook, continue to handle this situation poorly.