WhatsApp will start banning users who are relying on unofficial versions of the app, though this is being referred to a temporary ban by the company. WhatsApp has also published a new FAQ update on its website, where it had detailed steps for users to migrate from unofficial apps like GB WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus to the official Android app so they can have their accounts restored.
According to tweets shared by WABetaInfo, the company has listed out the steps in details. WABetaInfo regularly puts out information about upcoming features for WhatsApp, which is mostly accurate. According to the post, WhatsApp has said that it is important to remove these modified apps because the company cannot validate their security practices.
WhatsApp is cracking down more seriously on such third-party, unofficial apps, which claim to give access to the messaging service.
When contacted by indianexpress.com, a spokesperson said in a statement, “WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users. To protect the privacy and security of their account, we strongly recommend users only download WhatsApp from official app stores or from our website. We are continuing to step up our enforcement against imposter WhatsApp services to help curb abuse and keep WhatsApp users safe.”
WhatsApp also gave us a link to the FAQ page, which has listed out details about the temporarily banned accounts and how to fix the problem.
According to the page, the user might receive an in-app message stating that their account is “Temporarily banned”. The post explains this means the user is on an unsupported version of WhatsApp.
On the topic of banning users, which can be for various reasons, like violating WhatsApp’s terms of services, sending spam, abusive content. WhatsApp also says that these unofficial versions of the app violate their terms of service.
“We may not issue a warning before banning your account. If you think your account was banned by mistake, please email us and we’ll look into your case,”says the page on banning of accounts.
Check out the tweets from WABetaInfo below
WhatsApp has published a new FAQ that helps the user to switch from GB WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus (unsupported WhatsApp applications) to the official WhatsApp app.
WhatsApp says it’s important to remove modified WA apps because they can’t validate their security practices.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 7, 2019
They named two of the most used modded WhatsApp apps. I think it’s the first time they name “GB WhatsApp” and “WhatsApp Plus” in their website officially.
I don’t know what’s going to happen but I recommend users that use modded apps for Android to switch to the official WA. https://t.co/5xr97hhCF1
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 7, 2019
If a user migrates to the official version of WhatsApp, using the steps listed out on the FAQ page, they will likely have their chats restored. The FAQ page further mentions apps like WhatsApp Plus and GB WhatsApp, which are likely two of the most used altered versions of the official app.
WhatsApp’s page further says the company does not support these apps, that they cannot validate the security practices of these apps. Further these apps are developed by third parties and violate WhatsApp’s Terms of Service. So users are advised to shift to the official app.
Users who want to switch to the official WhatsApp app will have to backup their chat history before doing so. WhatsApp is recommending that users on any app other than WhatsApp Plus or GB WhatsApp, should save their chat history downloading the official app.
The company further says in the page that it cannot guarantee this will be a successful chat history transfer, because they don’t support unofficial apps.
How to migrate from GB WhatsApp to the official WhatsApp version
First, users should wait for their temporary ban to end. The timer will show them the length of the ban.
For those using GB WhatsApp, tap More options > Chats > Back up chats. Then go to Phone Settings > tap Storage > Files. Find the folder GB WhatsApp and tap and hold to select it.
In the upper right corner tap More > Rename and rename the folder to “WhatsApp”.
Now, go to the Google Play on Android and download the official WhatsApp app.
Once you have WhatsApp downloaded, log in and verify your phone number. An OTP is sent to your mobile number, which has to be entered to verify the account.
When the backup found screen appears, tap on Restore > Next. WhatsApp says the official app should load with your existing chats.
How to migrate from WhatsApp Plus to official WhatsApp
WhatsApp says if a user had saved their chat history previously, it should automatically transfer to the official WhatsApp app.
Users should go to the Play Store and download the WhatsApp app. They can then verify their phone number. Then restore WhatsApp chats in the backup page.