WhatsApp Plus users have been temporarily banned from accessing the service for a period of 24 hours. WhatsApp doesn't like the fact that users are accessing third-party clients instead of the official WhatsApp messaging app. It has also added that such access violates the company's Terms of Service.
WhatsApp Plus is a third-party app that allows users to navigate the WhatsApp messaging network with some added freedom. It is said that the app gives users an enhanced ability to customize their WhatsApp experience, which surpasses the experience that they get when they use the official WhatsApp.
Facebook, which acquired WhatsApp for $22 billion, has sent a Cease and Desist order to WhatsApp Plus. Users of another third-party app known as WhatsAppMD are also affected by the ban.
"WhatsApp Plus is an application that was not developed by WhatsApp; [neither] is it authorized by WhatsApp. The developers of WhatsApp Plus have no relationship to WhatsApp, and we do not support WhatsApp Plus. Please be aware that WhatsApp Plus contains source code which WhatsApp cannot guarantee as safe and that your private information is potentially being passed to 3rd parties without your knowledge or authorization," the company stated on its FAQs page.
WhatsApp Plus also has a community on Google+ and that it has over 700,000 members. The owner, Dr. Mounib Al Rifai, released a statement on the issue on the social media platform.
"Guys if you are getting this error don't panic we are working hard to find a fix for the issue as soon as possible in the mean time you can use the normal whatsapp till a fix is found. Very sorry for this issue as whatsapp is pushing us into a corner," he said.
Unfortunately for the members, the owner also announced that the community has to be deleted as part of the cease and desist order from WhatsApp.
"We have received a cease and desist letter from WhatsApp and we are obliged to remove all download links and unfortunately delete this community. Am really sorry for this but it's out of our hands and WhatsApp has pushed us into a corner that we can't escape this time. It was a fun ride but it has come to an end," added Al Rifai.
WhatsApp has advised users to uninstall the app and install the authorized version of WhatsApp either from the app's official site or from Google Play. By doing so, they can start using WhatsApp again.
However, Al Rifai said in an update to his Google+ post that users who have been banned should wait until the 24-hour banning period is over. This means that simply reinstalling the official WhatsApp is not a guarantee that one can use the app again right after installation.