Facebook has warned that apps such as WhatsApp Plus, GB WhatsApp, and apps that claim to move your WhatsApp chats between phones are unsupported and altered versions of WhatsApp.
“These unofficial apps are developed by third parties and violate our Terms of Service,” a spokesperson for WhatsApp told MyBroadband.
“WhatsApp doesn’t support these third-party apps because we can’t validate their security practices.”
These apps are typically not available in the Google Play Store or on iOS.
Many South Africans have disclosed on Twitter that they are using third-party WhatsApp applications such as GB WhatsApp.
A running joke on Twitter was trending in South Africa recently under the tags “WhatsAppGB” and “GBWhatsApp”.
People who uses #whatsAppGB can answer missed calls.
— (@blvck_on_blxck) July 3, 2021
Among the controversial features offered by GB WhatsApp is the ability to see messages and status updates even after the sender has deleted them.
However, using such an app can get your WhatsApp account banned from the platform.
“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,” WhatsApp states on its website.
“If you don’t switch to the official app after being temporarily banned, your account might be permanently banned from using WhatsApp.”
Facebook recommended backing up your chat history so that you can transfer it from the unsupported app to the official WhatsApp application.
“If you’re using an app other than WhatsApp Plus or GB WhatsApp, we recommend saving your chat history before downloading the official WhatsApp app,” the company said.
To switch from GB WhatsApp to the officially supported WhatsApp application, Facebook recommended the following steps:
- Wait for your temporary ban to end. The timer will show you the length of the ban.
- In GB WhatsApp, tap More options > Chats > Back up chats.
- Go to Phone Settings > tap Storage > Files.
- Find the folder GB WhatsApp and tap and hold to select it.
- In the upper right corner, tap More > Rename and rename the folder to “WhatsApp”.
- Navigate to the Play Store and download the official WhatsApp app. If you can’t access the Play Store, download it directly from the WhatsApp website.
- In WhatsApp, verify your phone number.
- On the Backup found screen, tap Restore > Next.
- WhatsApp should load with your existing chats.
WhatsApp said that it couldn’t guarantee the steps above will successfully transfer your chat history transfer because it doesn’t support unofficial apps.