Facebook has decided to end support for all Blackberry devices. This move by Facebook is not surprising though. At the end of last month, Whatsapp, owned by Facebook, had led the way by announcing that from the end of this year, support for all old operating systems would cease.
The old OS, apart from Blackberry OS included Nokia’s S40 and Symbian, Android 2.1, Android 2.2 and Windows 7.1. So Blackberry was in good company as it wasn’t the only OS targeted by whatsapp. In announcing the the policy to coincide with its seven year anniversary, Whatsapp claimed these old operating systems were not compatible with what it intend to do in the futuere:
“Earlier this week WhatsApp turned seven years old. It has been an amazing journey and in the coming months we’re putting an even greater emphasis on security features and more ways to stay in touch with the people that you care about.
As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use. So, by the end of 2016, we will be ending support for WhatsApp Messenger on the following mobile platforms:
- BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10
- Nokia S40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7.1″
With the move by Facebook, all Blackberry devices including BB10 devices would no longer have support for the native Facebook app on their smartphones. The only way to access Facebook on these devices would be through mobile web browsers like Opera Mini. To counter this move, Blackberry has introduced its own Blackberry Facebook app. The Blackberry Facebook app uses a Web interface that has being tweaked to make it easy to use.
This is definitely a big blow for Blackberry. The once dominant smartphone maker had seen its share of the smartphone market plummet to less than 1% ( this report is more Kinder to Blackberry, giving it a higher market share value of 1.2%). The fall of Blackberry coincided with the emergence of the Android OS, and in a bid to bounce back, Blackberry’s next set of smartphones would be based on the Android operating system.
However, Blackberry did not take the news from Facebook quietly. A blog post trying to ramp up interest for #ILoveBB10Apss was released;
“We are extremely disappointed in their decision as we know so many users love these apps. We fought back to work with WhatsApp and Facebook to change their minds, but at this time, their decision stands (but let them know how you feel on social media, using the hashtag #ILoveBB10Apps). Despite this, we have worked hard to ensure our end users have the best experience in light of this decision, and are continuing to search for alternate solutions.
Our commitment to BlackBerry 10 and to developers has not changed – we know our developer community continues to be one of the strongest proponents of BlackBerry 10 and they are creating thousands of apps every month. As a way to support them and to promote new apps, we’re now featuring some of the best native applications on BlackBerry World in a list called “Great Apps on BlackBerry.” The category will be a list of 20 applications, featured for two weeks, once per month, similar to the way we feature apps on the BlackBerry World Carousel. We’re also continuing whenever we can to invest in apps important to users, such as the update to the Twitter app released today with important fixes and another update coming in a month with new features. This ensures that our many BlackBerry 10 customers have the best OS and apps possible.”
Some users of the Whatsapp on Blackberry also joined in the protest against Facebook and Whatsapp especially. They started a petition hoping to get as many signatures necessary to force the hands of Facebook into backing down on the issue. So far they have had just over 2000 signatures. It is still early days though. But the signs are that there won’t be enough signatures to effect a change.
photo credits: crackberry.com; wp.com