Facebook to withdraw support for BlackBerry App

Blackberry doesn’t get a lot of good news these days, and the latest announcement from Facebook appears to be rubbing salt in the company’s wounds. The social network announced that it will end support for the BlackBerry 10 OS and BBOS by the end of the year.

The decision comes only a month after WhatsApp, the mobile messaging app acquired by Facebook in 2014, announced that it would be dropping support for the mobile phone operating system.

“We are extremely disappointed in their decision as we know so many users love these apps,” Lou Igazzola, head of BlackBerry’s app ecosystem and developer outreach program wrote in a blog post. “We fought back to work with WhatsApp and Facebook to change their minds, but at this time, their decision stands.”

A Very Different Landscape

Although a blow for BlackBerry, the move seems to make a lot of sense for Facebook, which has the most popular mobile phone app on the market with more than 126 million unique users. The mobile operating systems offered by Google, Microsoft, and Apple represent a whopping 99.5 percent of the market. That’s a starkly different picture than when WhatsApp debuted in 2009, when 70 percent of mobile phones ran operating systems by BlackBerry or Nokia.

Last month, WhatsApp also announced it would be dropping support for the Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60 platforms, along with Android 2.1 and 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1. “While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,” the messaging company said in a blog post at that time.

That certainly appears to be bad news for BlackBerry. Losing the Facebook app may not be the biggest inconvenience for the remaining BlackBerry users, who primarily consist of business executives who use them for work. Nevertheless, the development could lead other app developers to join Facebook in abandoning the platform, leading to a precipitous drop in functionality.

Would BlackBerry Abandon BlackBerry?

The Canadian handset maker has been trying to claw its way back into the smartphone market. BlackBerry handsets were once the most ubiquitous accessories for high-power executives who had to stay connected to e-mail while out of the office. But the introduction of Apple’s iOS as well as the Android platform have expanded the smartphone market to non-professionals, winning over most of BlackBerry’s users at the same time.

However, BlackBerry has had success with its new Priv model, launched at the end of last year. Notably, the Priv is the first BlackBerry to run the Android operating system. The company has already said that users can expect to see more Android-based models in the future. Facebook’s decision may force BlackBerry to reconsider sticking with an unpopular proprietary system since it has already proven it can find success with Android devices.\

Source: Top Tech News

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