In a statement issued, WhatsApp said, “While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet. No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one will lose the functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.”
Prior to this statement, in February, the Facebook-owned instant messaging platform had clearly stated that accounts will be deleted. “To give you enough time to review changes at your own pace and convenience, we’ve extended the effective date to May 15th. 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,” the company said on its FAQ page.
A lot of users had moved away from WhatsApp around that time as rival apps like Signal and Telegram had seen a massive surge in downloads and user base. It could be that to avoid more backlash WhatsApp has backtracked on its statement. Or a majority of users have already accepted the new privacy terms, which means that WhatsApp doesn’t really have to delete the remaining accounts.