WhatsApp will be blocked by courts in Brazil for 48 hours [Update: suspension lifted]

Update: Reuters is now reporting that a Brazilian higher court has lifted the 48-hour block of WhatsApp, overturning the lower court's ruling.

Original story: A Brazilian court has issued a block on the massively-popular messenger service WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook. This temporary block will remain in place for 48 hours starting this evening. This move will only affect those in the country, and stems from a injunction put forward by an unknown party. Facebook was provided with notification to get in touch with the courts, but reportedly failed to do so and thus has been ordered to close WhatsApp for the stated duration.

What makes this an interesting move is how the service itself is incredibly popular in Brazil. Local operators have complained in the past that services like WhatsApp are threatening their grips on calls with its VoIP functionality, meaning less customers are requiring additional SMS and carrier minutes for their smartphone. While many may assume networks have played a part in this block, it's a real concern for those who rely on WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family.

Will you be affected by this block? If so, what alternatives will you use until WhatsApp is once again available?

Source: Reuters

Rich Edmonds