WhatsApp Is About To Ban Millions Of Users - Are You One Of Them?

25 April 2018, 17:02 | Updated: 25 April 2018, 17:04

WhatsApp
WhatsApp. Picture: Flikr

By Josh Lee

It's a huge change.

WhatsApp has announced that it will increase its minimum age requirement to 16 for users who live in the European Union, effectively banning the millions of young teenagers across the EU who currently use the popular messaging app.

Currently, anyone over the age of 13 can use WhatsApp. But with new EU data privacy laws coming into effect this May, you'll now have to have reached your sweet 16 to use it.

The change is part of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is designed to give EU citizens more control and protection over their data. A number of social media platforms are having to introduce changes in time for GDPR, including Instagram, who will now allow users to download all the personal data stored in the app, and Facebook, who will no insist that users aged 13-15 have parental permission to gain full access to Facebook.

YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Musical.ly and Snapchat's minimum age requirements remain at 13.

How will WhatsApp enforce the age requirement change?

WhatsApp haven't yet announced how they intend to keep under-16s off the platform, but with a quarter of all 13-16 year olds using WhatsApp in the UK alone, they have a tough job on their hands.