BlackBerrys were once a symbol of hipness, and not just because they were worn at the hip in those godawful pouches. In recent years BlackBerry’s fallen into obscurity, and Facebook has given it yet another blow by steering clear of BlackBerry phones from now on.
Three years ago WhatsApp made its debut on BlackBerry phones, in a move that wasn’t met with as much enthusiasm by BB users.
After all, BBM was a thing and it was one of the strong points that users loved about the BlackBerry. That, and the qwerty keyboard, which even some of my friends will defend to this day.
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WhatsApp peaces out first
Now, as WhatsApp celebrates their seventh birthday, they’ve announced that they will no longer be supporting the app on BlackBerrys, including the BlackBerry 10, among other antique operating systems.
The entire availability of the app on the BlackBerry was less than half of WhatsApp’s “age,” and the question stands: will there be anyone left on BlackBerry’s operating system to mourn the loss of the most popular chat app in the world?
My guess is no, for two reasons:
- First, the people that still use a BlackBerry are likely fans of the device, and they can still contact their friends through BBM (which is still available on Android and iOS) or other messaging apps.
- Second – and this is more important – BlackBerry supports Android apps, and the company is actually shifting towards Android as of late. Their latest phone is the BlackBerry Priv, which runs Android apps perfectly because it actually is an Android phone.
Facebook gets cold feet
But it’s not just WhatsApp that’s moving away from the ‘Berry. Facebook and Facebook Messenger will be shutting down their APIs that allowed for BlackBerry apps as well, sparking a response from BlackBerry on their blog:
“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).”
What’s Next: “It’s no secret the Blackberrys are less popular than puppies”
As of now, Twitter reflects what is likely the true situation: a handful of dedicated fans and a lot of silence from people who have no clue the BlackBerry is still around.
The hashtag that would have raised millions of tweets just a couple of years ago is easily beaten by #WednesdayWisdom and #NationalPuppyDay. But it’s no secret that BlackBerrys are less popular than puppies.
The situation seems set in stone, and Facebook isn’t like to back down on this one, but I’m sure that in the future there’ll be workarounds for diehards that love their BBs and want to keep using them. Even if that means they’ll use Android to use their BlackBerry.
Image source: abcnews.com
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