It may indeed seem a bleak future for Blackberry as Facebook has joined its social media subsidiary, WhatsApp in announcing its decision to pull BlackBerry support for its messaging app by the end of 2016.
At the end of last month, WhatsApp said it will be phasing out support for Blackberry, Nokia and older Windows and Android models by the end of 2016.
According to Whatsapp, the older smartphone platforms can no longer keep up with the latest features being rolled out for the app.
WhatsApp made the announcement as it celebrated its seventh anniversary, after first launching the popular messaging platform in 2009.
The app, which is now used by more than one billion people worldwide, was launched in the early days of Apple’s App Store, when seven out of ten had operating systems offered by Blackberry and Nokia.
The full list of platforms being left behind includes: BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10; Nokia S40; Nokia Symbian S60; Android 2.1 and Android 2.2; and Windows Phone 7.1.
The Nokia Symbian open source operating system, launched in 2007, is the oldest OS capable of running the app.
WhatsApp explained that “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Blackberry has confirmed that the social media giant will discontinue essential software updates for its platform, including BlackBerry 10 and BBOS, by the end of 2016.
The Blackberry support team who are rallying BB fans to social media to let Facebook know how they feel with the hashtag #ILoveBB10Apps said;
“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.”
This does not mean, however, that BBOS and BlackBerry 10 users will not have access to Facebook at all, by the end of March, BlackBerry will replace the official Facebook app with a new native app that will will funnel users to the web-version of Facebook.
BlackBerry has faced a decline in recent years. While Android and Apple account for 58 percent and 39 percent of smartphone sales in the US (based on recent figures from Kantar Worldpanel) BlackBerry falls under the unfortunate “other” category, which accounts for 0.1 percent of sales.