Apparently WhatsApp wants to curb churn
In a new FAQ from WhatsApp it says: “You will receive calls and notifications for a short time, but you can neither read nor send messages in the app”. According to TechCrunch, “a short time” should mean “a few weeks”.
Accounts would be deleted according to the previous rules, “normally after 120 days of inactivity”.
The possibility of being able to use the app passively or to a limited extent without having agreed to the new guidelines could slow down churn movements that WhatsApp apparently fears: If you can still be called or see that new messages are available, the network may not be complete after all want to leave and prefer to agree retrospectively.
WhatsApp then postponed the deadline from February 8 to May 15 and has since tried to explain that nothing will change with regard to data transfer to Facebook and that WhatsApp messages will continue to be end-to-end encrypted and thus also for WhatsApp itself not remain visible.
The new provisions are primarily intended to make more transparent how WhatsApp records and uses data when private users communicate directly with companies via the app, for example in customer service.
Teasing competing messengers
The information available so far is spread across several blog posts, such as this one, this one and this one.