WhatsApp is widely used as a primary communication tool on smartphones, which connects more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. The massive user base is going to shrink by a small margin as millions of users are going to lose access to the world's most popular messaging app.

WhatsApp has announced that it will stop supporting smartphones running older software, which could result in many users being unable to communicate using the app. WhatsApp is going to stop working on select iPhones and Android phones, while smartphones powered by Windows Phone will no longer be supported by the app.

WhatsApp has drawn a deadline for Windows Phone to be December 31, 2019, post which users won't be able to create new accounts nor re-verify existing accounts. Similarly, WhatsApp will end support for phones running Android 2.3.7 OS and iOS 8 after February 1, 2020.

Android smartphone users, regardless of the phone's brand, must ensure the phones are running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at the least to continue using WhatsApp after February. Apple iPhone users who cannot upgrade further to iOS 9 would need to upgrade their smartphone to enjoy the full service of the popular app.

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WhatsApp to lose millions of usersKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

How to export WhatsApp chats from iPhone?

WhatsApp users can choose to back up their chats from Settings > Chats > Chat backup. Make sure the Auto Backup option is turned on so you don't have to worry about backing up your chats again. The data will be backed up to your iCloud storage and it can be restored the next time you install WhatsApp on your new iPhone.

In case you do not have plans to upgrade your iPhone and still wish to have your chats, you can export them. Simply select the chat, go to "More" and choose "Export." You can select Email Chat and retrieve your important chats from iPhone via email before iOS 8-powered iPhones are no longer supported by WhatsApp.

How to export WhatsApp chats from Android?

The best way to back up your chats is to do it from within the app, so the next time you install WhatsApp on a supported phone, you'll be able to get those old chats back. To do so, go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Backup. This will back up your data to Google Drive on the attached Gmail account.

WhatsApp won't work on these phonesREUTERS

However, if you wish not to upgrade from your Android 2.3.7 or older Android phone, exporting chats might be the best option. You can do so by opening your chat, select the more option from the top settings menu, choose "export chat" (with or without media) and preserve your important conversations in your personal email.

How to export WhatsApp chats from Windows Phone?

In the case of Windows Phone devices, you can export your chats to save the conversations. To do so, open the chat, tap on Group info, select "export chat" and export all your personal messages to your email.