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Whatsapp now permanently bans users using third-party apps

Posted 04 March 2015 18:54 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Users of Whatsapp sending messages using different, unofficial clients are risking to be permanently banned from the online messaging service. The information comes from the German website Mobiflip which received several complaints from users.

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A fair share of Whatsapp users send their messages with third-party apps like Whatsapp+ or WhatsappMD. These apps aren’t available on the Google Play Store but offer more features than the official Whatsapp-app. A feature for which many users install the apps is being able to see the “last seen” status from other users while the user’s status remains hidden.

Recently Whatsapp started to ban users using third-party Whatsapp-apps and it appears the company has now started to permanently block them. Affected users likely received a temporarily ban or warning before they were permanently blocked.

The permanent block means in practice that Whatsapp blacklists the banned phone number. Which also makes it impossible to activate and send messages using the official Whatsapp-app.

The third-party apps are also no longer developed. The developers ceased development after they received warnings from Facebook stating their apps violate the Whatsapp user terms.

Update: WhatsApp denies it permanently bans users of third-party unofficial apps.



Seán
Senior Administrator & Reviewer
Posted on: 04 Mar 15 20:03
Personally I think the ban should be a maximum of a month as it is open to abuse or other possibilities, such as the following that come to mind:

For someone that really does not want to have anything to do with Whatsapp - Just install the unofficial client and let the ban take effect, no worry about "accidentally" using it in future.

Play a nasty prank on someone, e.g. ex. partner.  E.g. pretend to be telling a new partner about all the wonderful features the '+' version has to offer and that you must get it, but e-mailed to the ex by "mistake".  Whoops...

Phone number recycling - If someone cancels their phone contract (e.g. moving country), generally the phone number gets recycled to a new person over time.  If that number is banned on Whatsapp, the new number owner will also be banned.

Possible mass abandoning of network - If for someone reason people want to leave Whatsapp in disgust over something and this goes viral, they could install the unofficial app in disgust to get banned to show that they don't to ever use it again. 
46 Agree

iM8
New Member
Posted on: 05 Mar 15 20:23
Good point, Sean. But:
"Recently Whatsapp started to ban users using third-party Whatsapp-apps and it appears the company has now started to permanently block them. Affected users likely received a temporarily ban or warning before they were permanently blocked."

The "victim" would first get a WARNING, the a temp. ban before being banned permanently. The victim would've been a complete shithead to not understand those hints that they might've installed a shady version of Whatsapp. Especially if WA linked the user to the GPlay store so they could download the legit version right away. So very good point, but even my grandma might understand that she got herself a shady version of WA installed.
6 Agree

TSJnachos117
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 07 Mar 15 02:14
I'm afraid that's what happens when you use any technology owned by facebook. If you do something they don't like, you will be screwed by the (anti-)user terms. My advice to everyone: don't trust anyone or anything owned by Facebook, as Facebook has proven time and again how eager it is to abuse your trust.
4 Agree

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