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- Now, the company is loosening the restrictions surrounding that date, giving a longer indeterminate grace period.
- However, you are still going to need to accept the terms, eventually.
- 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.
In other words, the May 15 deadline is actually still active. It’s just that repercussions for non-acceptance of the new terms will happen slowly over a period of weeks, rather than all at once.
The original incorrect interpretation of the news is preserved below.
See also: WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal: Which messaging app should you use?
Now, though, it appears the company is dropping plans for that May 15 deadline. According to a tweet from The Press Trust of India (via XDA-Developers), WhatsApp will no longer stick to the May 15 cutoff
and will not suspend/delete any users who refuse the new terms. It doesn’t appear that the company has a new deadline date, either, putting the whole controversy to rest for the moment.
The company had this to say in a statement:
While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet. No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one will lose the functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.
From this statement, it appears that users who don’t want to accept the terms can continue to use WhatsApp indefinitely. The app will continually remind users that they need to accept the new terms,
but rejecting that alert won’t result in any penalties. Obviously, those alerts will likely get annoying, and a percentage of those folks will probably eventually accept.
However, the users who have already accepted the new terms are still bound to them.
We’ll need to wait and see if the company eventually rolls out a new date once the controversy fully dies down. By then, though, it may be too late, as thousands of people have already migrated to competitor platforms, such as Telegram and Signal.