WhatsApp has announced through an FAQ post that it is temporarily banning accounts that use third-party versions of the instant messaging app, such as WhatsApp Plus or GB WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned company said to continue using WhatsApp, users will have to download the official app. It even provided steps on how to switch back to the official app, with instructions on backing up chat history before migrating. The third-party apps are popular among the users as they tend to offer features that are not available in the official apps.
In an FAQ post, WhatsApp said altered versions of the messaging app are developed by third-parties where the company cannot validate their security practices. These unofficial apps violate the Terms of Service clause of the official app, it added.
“If you received an in-app message stating your account is ‘Temporarily banned’ this means that you’re likely using an unsupported version of WhatsApp instead of the official app,” the company wrote. “You must download the official app to continue using WhatsApp,” the post noted.
As we mentioned, WhatsApp has provided detailed steps for users of WhatsApp Plus and GB WhatsApp third-party apps to migrate their data to the official app. “Please note that we can’t guarantee this will be a successful chat history transfer because WhatsApp doesn’t support unofficial apps,” it added. In case users are utilising a third-party app separate from these, they are advised to save their chat history before migrating.
The accounts have not been banned permanently, although users have been advised to back their chats up before making the switch. If users are utilising the official WhatsApp app, and were still banned, the company says it was because the user violated its Terms of Service. It also points to this help article – which mentions users who feel their ban was by mistake can appeal the decision by emailing the company.
Written with inputs from IANS