As a result, many users looked for alternative messaging applications and flocked to Signal or Telegram.
WhatsApp, which was set to enforce its new data-sharing policy from May 15, 2021 following a delay in response to a user outcry revealed on its website that it would not immediately cut off users who do not accept the new terms, although it would send reminders to those who do not accept the terms.
Countering rumours and misinformation a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI, "No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks," an emailed response to a query on Friday.
For those who choose not to accept the company's updated terms, the app will continue to show a notification asking to accept. After a period of several weeks, the users will see a persistent reminder.
At some point, users will encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until they accept the updates, according to WhatsApp's FAQ page. "You won't be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer the incoming phone and video calls After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won't be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone."