WhatsApp yesterday started handing out 24 hour bans to users of third-party clients built for the service, but it wasn’t certain at the time what would happen to these apps or whether or not WhatsApp was going to allow them to continue operations as normal. Users being banned from WhatsApp for 24 hours was an obvious setback, but now it’s more clear what the Facebook-owned company has in mind. WhatsApp+, the most popular third-party WhatsApp client, has received a cease and desist letter.
The app has effectively been put “into a corner” that will kill it indefinitely, and its Google+ community with more than 700,000 members is apparently getting the boot as well. It’s not quite certain at this point whether or not other third-party apps have been given the same treatment, but it seems WhatsApp+ will definitely be the first to go. “21 January 2015 RIP WhatsApp+,” Dr. Mounib Al Rifai wrote on Google+.
Other than the fact that they’re a breach of the company’s terms of service, it’s not clear exactly what made WhatsApp finally crack down on these clients. The company has posited security as the main concern, as mentioned on their FAQ website: “Please be aware that WhatsApp Plus contains source code which WhatsApp cannot guarantee as safe and that your private information is potentially being passed to 3rd parties without your knowledge or authorization.”
Dr. Mounib Al Rifai, owner of the WhatsApp+ community on Google+, had this to say:
We have received a cease and desist letter from WhatsApp and we are obligated to remove all download links and unfortunately delete this community…
Am really sorry for this but it’s out of our hands and WhatsApp has pushed us into a corner that we can’t escape this time..
It was a fun ride but it has come to an end..
Deepest regards from Rafalense and me and all the whatsapp+ team for your support