Facebook Says WhatsApp Users Can Still Use the App if They Don’t Accept the New Terms

Facebook announced that WhatsApp won’t limit the app’s functionality for users who don’t accept the company’s proposed policy changes, backtracking on an earlier announcement saying the messaging app would slowly become unusable.

Facebook’s original announcement regarding the WhatsApp policy changes miffed many users. They were told they had to agree to share metadata between WhatsApp and Facebook, or the company would delete their accounts.

Shortly after, Facebook backtracked again, saying the apps will initially show only a notification, then would lose the ability to open the chat functions. The ability to respond to messages or calls directly from notifications would remain for a few more weeks, after which that feature would be removed. The result would be a completely unusable WhatsApp.

Now, Facebook is backtracking once more, saying it will no longer limit WhatsApp usage. The persistent message to accept the new terms and conditions would be the only indication from Facebook.

“No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update,” said the company. “Considering the majority of users who have seen the update have accepted, we’ll continue to display a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update and reminding those who haven’t had a chance to do so to review and accept. We currently have no plans for these reminders to become persistent and to limit the functionality of the app.”

Facebook could not enforce the new terms and conditions everywhere. Sharing data from WhatsApp to Facebook is not possible in the European Union, at least not in its current form, and it already has a problem in India, where it pushed the same update.