In an update to the companys FAQ page, WhatsApp clarifies that no users will have their accounts deleted or instantly lose app functionality if they dont accept the new policies. Its a step back from what WhatsApp had been telling users up until this point. When this page was first posted back in February, it specifically told users that those who dont accept the platforms new policies wont have full functionality until they do. The threat of losing functionality is still there, but it wont be automatic.
For a short time, youll be able to receive calls and notifications, but wont be able to read or send messages from the app, WhatsApp wrote at the time. While the deadline to accept was initially early February, the blowback the company got from, well, just about everyone, caused the deadline to be postponed until May 15this coming Saturday.
After that, folks that gave the okay to the new policy wont notice any difference to their daily WhatsApp experience, and neither will the people that didntat least at first. After a period of several weeks, the reminder [to accept] people receive will eventually become persistent, WhatsApp wrote, adding that users getting these persistent reminders will see their app stymied pretty significantly: For a few weeks, users wont be able to access their chat lists, but will be able to answer incoming phone and video calls made over WhatsApp. After that grace period, WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone entirely (until you accept).
So while WhatsApp isnt technically disabling your app, the company is making it pretty much unusable.
Its worth mentioning here that if you keep the app installed but still refuse to accept the policy for whatever reason, WhatsApp wont outright delete your account because of that. That said, WhatsApp will probablydelete your account due to inactivity if you dont connect for 120 days, as is WhatsApp policy.
In a statement to the Verge, a WhatsApp spokesperson reiterated what was already written in the new FAQ: that peoples accounts wont be deleted, that theyll continue to receive reminders, and that they wont lose functionality on the day the deadline hits:
Weve spent the last several months providing more information about our update to users around the world.
In that time, the majority of people who have received it have accepted the update and WhatsApp continues to grow. However, for those that have not yet had a chance to do so, their accounts will not be deleted or lose functionality on May 15. Well continue to provide reminders to those users within WhatsApp in the weeks to come.