Incidentally, Facebook is assuring it won’t delete accounts, only render them inactive. However, WhatsApp’s own FAQ about “Inactive accounts” suggests the possibility of deletion.
— Android Central (@androidcentral) February 22, 2021
WhatsApp’s FAQ then further explains: “If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app.”
Facebook promises not to delete WhatsApp accounts but the platform’s FAQ indicates otherwise:
WhatsApp’s FAQ states: “To maintain security, limit data retention, and protect the privacy of our users, WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity. Content stored locally on a user’s device prior to account deletion will remain until WhatsApp is deleted from the device. When a user reregisters for WhatsApp on the same device, their locally stored content will reappear.”
WhatsApp will soon display an in-app banner to provide more info about its policy changes https://t.co/OBMwUBjGzO
— XDA (@xdadevelopers) February 19, 2021
The FAQ suggests that WhatsApp is completely within its rights to delete accounts that remain inactive for four months. However, accepting the new policy and/or holding on to the data by not uninstalling WhatsApp can buy users some time.
— WION (@WIONews) February 19, 2021
The new policy update mainly opens up WhatsApp to businesses. Facebook is keenly interested in monetizing the platform, and the new policy could result in interactions with businesses on WhatsApp, thereby influencing the ads users see on Facebook.