WhatsApp GB: Here's what it is and why everyone’s talking about it

22 July 2021 - 14:00
WhatsApp is threatening to ban users of WhatsApp GB. Stock photo.
WhatsApp is threatening to ban users of WhatsApp GB. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Panithan Fakseemuang

WhatsApp GB, a version of the popular messaging app, is trending on Twitter as users question whether they will still have access to the app amid ban threats.

Wondering what it is? Well, WhatsApp GB and WhatsApp Plus are among several altered versions of the original app which are not supported by Facebook, the company which owns WhatsApp. 

If you received an in-app message stating your account is 'temporarily banned', this means that you're likely using an unsupported version of WhatsApp instead of the official WhatsApp app. If you don't switch to the official app after being temporarily banned, your account might be permanently banned from using WhatsApp,” the company said on its website

How else can you tell if you're using the dodgy version of the app?

If you're able to move your WhatsApp chats between phones, you're using the altered version of the app. Users of WhatsApp GB disclosed on Twitter that they are able to, among other things, view and respond to statuses long after they have been removed by their contacts.

The app has a feature that allows users to share posts that disappear within 24 hours. Users can choose to delete these before the 24-hour period.

The company says one of the main concerns with these versions is they violate the company's terms of service and their security practices can't be validated, which means they might be less secure than the official version.

How can you move from WhatsApp GB to the official app?

It depends on the version you use, the company says. The user might be required to back up their chat history before moving to the official app. Users who are on a version that isn't WhatsApp GB or WhatsApp Plus are advised to save their chat history before moving to the official app. 

From poking fun to safety concerns, here's what Twitter users had to say about the dodgy versions of the app: