Blackberry users would not have being looking forward to today. Last week, the Internet was awash with news about how Facebook had decided to end support for Blackberry and other old operating systems like the Symbian OS. The Facebook announcement was similar to Whatsapp’s own decision to remove itself from the Blackberry platform by the end of the year.
So, for owners of Blackberry devices, today would have being the day they finally say good bye to Facebook app on their smartphone. But news emanating from Blackberry suggests that there is a stay of execution. Or to put it less dramatically, Facebook is not ending its relationship with Blackberry today.
The good news was announced through a post on the company’s blog two days ago The announcement said:
“There has been much news regarding our recent blog post about Great Apps on BlackBerry and I want to clarify that Facebook will continue to support BlackBerry 10 and BBOS. The experience will be slightly different, but you’ll still get the same Facebook features you love. And, of course the full Android Facebook app is available on the PRIV by BlackBerry.
Our fans are fighting for us (#WeAreBlackBerry), and we love their support (#ILoveBB10Apps). That’s why we have worked hard with Facebook to address some technical challenges and the best solution was to move forward with a Web-based app.
For those just hearing about this news, we have an updated web-based Facebook app that replaces the native app for BlackBerry 10 and BBOS. The update is required because the native app will stop working on March 31.”
Though not exactly like the old app, this new Web-based Facebook app for Blackberry devices would be a good substitute for the traditional app. And it is so good users might not notice the difference between the old and the new. The new Blackberry Facebook app, according to Blackberry, would also have additional features which were not available in the old app. These new features include,
– users would now be able to view all posts on their timeline. Those familiar with the old app are used to seeing messages like “News feed could not be retrieved” or “Post could not be loaded” while scrolling through the old Blackberry Facebook app. These are now consigned to the digital dustbin.
– All features available to Facebook users on the website would now be part of the new Blackberry Facebook app. This means using Blackberry Facebook app now will feel like using the feature-packed Facebook Web page on a PC. That would be awesome if it is true and not some corporate spin to pacify angry Blackberry users.
– On the new Blackberry Facebook app, users can now reply to comments. Also, they can see replies to comments. It is a bummer that it took a suspension threat from Facebook before this feature is included for Blackberry users. Android users have long taken this for granted.
To get the new Blackberry Facebook app, just visit BlackberryWorld on your handset and follow the links to apply the updates according to what version of Blackberry you are using. That is, choose the Blackberry OS link or Blackberry 10 link for the update to install successfully on your device.
Now that Blackberry has found a way around what could have potentially being a disaster for the company, Blackberry owners hoped they would apply the same enthusiasm in finding a solution for the whatsapp issue too. It is not clear though how long Facebook would stick with the web-based Blackberry Facebook app. It is well known that Facebook see web-based apps as one of the biggest mistakes they made in the early years of Facebook as a company.
photo credits: ubergizmo.com; liliputing.com