It all changed late last week when Facebook confirmed it would not delete WhatsApp accounts if the terms aren’t accepted by May 15th. It seemed like a loss for the company at the time, with Facebook seemingly ready to allow people who don’t accept the new terms to use WhatsApp. But it turns out that Facebook is still planning to WhatsApp functionality even if you don’t accept the new terms.
No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update.
For the last several weeks we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update. After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.
If that’s still not enough to convince you to accept, your WhatsApp functionality will be limited — here’s what it’ll feel like:
You won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call.
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.
The following image also briefly recaps the consequences of not accepting the privacy changes:
Facebook also reminds users that they can still export chat histories if they want, and that WhatsApp inactivity could still lead to account deletion. If users are inactive for 120 days, the account is deleted regardless of whether or not they accepted the privacy changes. Facebook only makes it clear that failure to accept the terms of service changes by or after May 15th will not result in immediate account deletion.