There is no doubt that WhatsApp Plus made some major headway in allowing people to really personalize their WhatsApp interface, but even though it was extremely popular there was one problem, the app itself was not officially recognized by WhatsApp.
This then led to a number of problems because they were riding on the back of the WhatsApp name and clearly this is against the rules especially when it comes to trademarks, so something had to happen. That thing, could only lead in one direction and it was not good news for its users or the company.
They Did Ban It.
WhatsApp did indeed go ahead and ban use of this external app and they did so at the start of 2015. They were clearly fed up of the situation, but just warning people not to use this third party app would do virtually nothing. It could be argued that they did the only thing that they could do, which was to ban the app completely and you could argue that there is no way that you could blame them for taking this action.
They Did Take It Further.
It is important to point out that WhatsApp then took things one step further and threatened to ban individuals that were using the app from accessing WhatsApp on a personal level. This shows how seriously they have taken the use of WhatsApp Plus and it has certainly angered a few people who felt that there was no real harm in using it when they were still on WhatsApp for its main use, which was to chat to other users around the world.
They do also seem to have adopted quite a strict policy as some users have been threatened with a permanent ban for using WhatsApp Plus and this is certainly something that has also upset a lot of people. However, it is important to remember that the people behind WhatsApp have to look after their property and they are rightfully not happy with the idea of people being able to access the code of the app to change it. You can see why they may have felt that this was a security risk and had to take appropriate action.
So, in short:
- WhatsApp did indeed ban WhatsApp Plus in January 2015.
- They have since gone one step further and taken action against people that have continued to use the app.
- You run the risk of being banned on a permanent basis if you use it.
- They cite trademark complaints and security issues as the main reasons.
It may at first sound rather petty to go ahead and ban WhatsApp Plus, but when you look at the reasoning behind it all, then it actually does make a lot of sense. No company in the world is going to allow another company to take advantage of its trademark when it gets nothing out of it whatsoever and they need to show that they protect what is rightfully theirs.
That is what has happened here with WhatsApp and it should at least make it less likely that other companies will then look at taking advantage of them in the same way in the future.