That’s different from what the page originally said when it was posted in February, when it warned that failing to accept the new terms by the May deadline would mean users would lose functionality. “We’ve extended the effective date to May 15th,” the page said at the time. “If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app [emphasis added].”
Although WhatsApp has relaxed the deadline for accepting the new policy, it’s still coming into force, sources with knowledge of WhatsApp’s plans confirmed to The Verge. It’ll still be effective from May 15th for new users and for people who’ve already accepted the policy. The difference is that anyone who doesn’t accept the policy now won’t lose full functionality immediately. Instead, they’ll be shown a reminder to accept the new policy.
That’ll change after a period of several weeks when this reminder will become what WhatsApp is referring to as a “persistent reminder.” It’s at this point that the app’s functionality will become limited. Although users will still be able to answer incoming calls and respond to messages by tapping on notifications, they won’t be able to access the standard chat list from within the app. Finally, after a few additional weeks, users will lose this “limited functionality” entirely. WhatsApp says it generally deletes inactive accounts after 120 days.
“We’ve spent the last several months providing more information about our update to users around the world,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement. “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. We’ll continue to provide reminders to those users within WhatsApp in the weeks to come.”