WhatsApp Targets Third-Party Apps

A crackdown on third-party applications? WhatsApp with that?

WhatsAppPlus650A crackdown on third-party applications? WhatsApp with that?

Android app WhatsApp+ announced in a post on its Google+ community that it was shuttering permanently as the result of a cease-and-desist letter from the Facebook-owned cross-platform messaging app.

WhatsApp+ official community owner Mounib Al Rifai wrote:

Due to the circumstances that arose and the fact that WhatsApp issued a cease-and-desist letter to WhatsApp+ developer Rafalense. the official WhatsApp+ community is shutting down for good and will be removed by the end of the day.

As for the development of the app itself Rafalense had this to say: “WhatsApp+ development is stopped since yesterday night and I will not continue with any development or support of it.”

So, it’s official: WhatsApp+ is dead, and there will be no further development of it, as Rafalense stated.

WhatsApp addressed its actions against WhatsApp+ in its frequently asked questions section:

WhatsApp+ is an application that was not developed by WhatsApp, nor is it authorized by WhatsApp. The developers of WhatsApp+ have no relationship to WhatsApp, and we do not support WhatsApp+. Please be aware that WhatsApp+ contains source code that WhatsApp cannot guarantee as safe and that your private information is potentially being passed to third parties without your knowledge or authorization.

Please uninstall your app and install an authorized version of WhatsApp from our website or Google Play. After the 24-hour countdown ends you will be able to use WhatsApp.

The 24-hour countdown that WhatsApp is referring to was explained by Mashable, which reported that in addition to going after WhatsApp+ and its developer, WhatsApp was temporarily suspending access for users who had been using WhatsApp+.

WhatsApp issued the following statement to Mashable:

Third parties that have built unauthorized functionality on top of WhatsApp create issues for people including lost messages. This goes against the experience we work hard to give people and we won’t let it continue. Starting today, we are taking aggressive action against unauthorized apps and alerting the people who use them.

Readers: Do you think these actions by WhatsApp were appropriate, or too harsh?

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.