WhatsApp becomes 'obsolete' for many users in India; Facebook pins blame on third-party app distribution mechanism

Several users have taken to Twitter to complain about the issues with WhatsApp, which is refusing to open until a non-existent update is installed.

WhatsApp is not working for many users in India. The chat app has become "obsolete" for many users as of midnight on 13 January. A few users reported facing the issue around the first week of January, but the problem seem to have spread to more users from 13 January. Many of the affected users have taken to Twitter to express their frustration.

The WhatsApp app logo, WhatsApp

The WhatsApp app logo, WhatsApp

According to a Tweet by a user facing the problem, WhatsApp is asking them to update the app to continue using the service. The option to update the app comes after opening the app. Screenshots posted by users reveal a message that says 'This version of WhatsApp became obsolete 0n 13 Jan, 2018. Please go to the Google Play Store and download the latest version.' But, according to users, even after going to the Google Play Store, they are not able to download the latest version of the app, as there are no updates available. The app also claims that the user is on a beta testing program and offers the user an option to leave the program. Tapping the opt-out button doesn't do anything, according to various users on Twitter.

The problem seems to exist mostly for Xiaomi smartphone users as those who are complaining appear to be using Xiaomi devices. Some claim that the app is not working even after re-installing it. We tested WhatsApp on a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 in our office and it was working perfectly. Clearly, the issue doesn't affect every single Xiaomi device.

According to a report on Techook.com WhatsApp has acknowledged the problem faced by its users and said that the problem is being fixed. WhatsApp responded to TechHook's queries with a statement that said, "It was a problem with how our app is distributed, which is not under our control”.

The Facebook owned chat app recently suffered a global outage on New Year's eve. The service was restored hours later, but many of the users were not able to access the service on the night of 31 December.

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