BlackBerry 10 app gets booted by social media conglomerate Facebook and Facebook-owned instant messaging service WhatsApp; Both announce the discontinuation of native app support for BlackBerry 10.
“The app landscape continues to evolve and in ways that are not always within our control,“ said the Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry in a new blog post. “We are extremely disappointed in [Facebook’s] 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.”
Earlier this month WhatsApp made the announcement that it would discontinue support for BlackBerry’s operating systems at the end of the year along with dropping other mobile platforms such as Nokia and older Android systems, while just recently Facebook posted what will likely be its last update for BlackBerry users, saying that it will no longer be updating its social media app for BlackBerry as of March 31st.
The changing field of mobile technology is to blame, with BlackBerry devices making up less than one per cent of today’s market, a far cry from how things looked in 2009 when WhatsApp first appeared on the scene. Then, about 70 per cent of smartphones were either BlackBerry or Nokia, whereas today 99.5 per cent of sales, according to WhatsApp’s estimates, are accounted for by Google, Apple and Microsoft products.
According to the WhatsApp blog post, BlackBerry’s tiny sliver of the mobile pie is not enough to make it worthwhile for it to continue accommodating the platform. “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,” says the latest WhatsApp blog post. “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.”
In other Facebook news, according to University of Massachusetts PhD candidate Hachem Saddiki, the number of dead Facebook users will start to overtake the living ones by the year 2098, based on current projections. Facebook’s “virtual graveyard” exists because of its policy of leaving open the accounts of the deceased in a “memorialized” format, unless someone with the account’s password explicitly deletes it.
On February 26th WhatsApp announced that one billion people are now using the messaging service, up from a claimed 600 million users as of January 2015. Currently, there are over 1.59-billion active Facebook users worldwide, an increase from 1.39 billion a year ago. The average age of a Facebook user is 22 and the average time users (American ones, at least) spend on Facebook is about 40 minutes per day. In Canada, Facebook users are projected to reach 19 million this year.
In apparent response to the move by Facebook and WhatsApp, BlackBerry has announced “Great Apps on BlackBerry,” whereby every two weeks a new selection of 20 compelling, native to BlackBerry apps will be highlighted on BlackBerry World. In addition, BlackBerry has asked its users to vocalize their displeasure over the Facebook and WhatApp decisions by posting on social media with the hashtag #ILoveBB10Apps.