Skip to main content

Facebook to follow WhatsApp and drop support for BlackBerry phones

tcl blackberry ces facebook on old
Sayid Zulhusni/123RF
When WhatsApp announced last month it was throwing in the towel on BlackBerry, it seemed only a matter of time before its parent company would follow suit.

And now Facebook has, indeed, decided to stop supporting the platform by the end of the year, meaning users will have to hit the mobile site to continue using the social networking service on their devices.

In a recent post on the Inside BlackBerry blog, the company’s senior marketing manager Lou Gazzola said his team was “extremely disappointed” with Facebook’s decision, “as we know so many users love these apps.”

Gazzola continued, “We fought back to work with WhatsApp and Facebook to change their minds, but at this time, their decision stands.”

The post also talked of an ongoing search for “alternative solutions.” Gazzola apparently believes that people power could still win the day, encouraging dismayed users to express their disappointment about the social networking giant’s decision by taking to social media using the hashtag #ILoveBB10Apps.

WhatsApp announced last month that it’s decided to end support for a number of mobile platforms, including BlackBerry 10, “by the end of 2016.”

“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 company said at the time.

Even BlackBerry itself has been examining the viability of its own mobile platform. It said earlier this year that while it will continue to support BB10, it won’t be launching any phones for it this year, switching its attention instead to Android devices.

Having seen its mobile business decimated in recent years by the rise of iOS and Android, BlackBerry decided rather late in the day to tackle the crisis by launching its very first Android phone, the Priv. The phone, which includes a slide-out keyboard as one of its main features, went on sale toward the end of 2015, and was followed by confirmation from CEO John Chen that the company would this year be producing Android handsets only.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Classic BlackBerries are finally losing suppport as company shuts down services
BlackBerry Key2. Credits: BlackBerry official.

After kickstarting the smartphone era, BlackBerry's classic devices and services are finally shutting down. No, not the Android-powered modern BlackBerries such as the KeyOne, Key2, and Key2 LE, but anything that ran a BlackBerry-branded operating system. Whether this is a classic QWERTY keyboard powered by BlackBerry 7, or the iPhone-inspired BlackBerry 10, or even the forgotten BlackBerry PlayBook OS -- it's all shutting down this month.
"As another milestone in the BlackBerry journey, we will be taking steps to decommission the legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1, and earlier versions, with an end of life or termination date of January 4, 2022," the company announced. "As of this date, devices running these legacy services and software through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS, and 911 functionality. We have chosen to extend our service until then as an expression of thanks to our loyal partners and customers."
BlackBerry bids farewell to its longtime customers. Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
It's the end of an era for what was once a distinguished product that defined the market a decade ago. Even predating iMessage, the BlackBerry instant messaging service -- BBM -- was a great selling point for the product line. As iOS, Android, and WhatsApp began to dominate, BlackBerry devices began to fall by the wayside.
The company tried to rejuvenate its smartphone business by launching its own touchscreen phones and later its own operating system in 2013, but had little success. Unable to keep up,ity stopped the creation of smartphones in 2016 and licensed services to TCL Ltd. between 2016 to 2020. BlackBerry promised to launch a smartphone by the end of 2021 in partnership with OnwardMobility, but that hasn't panned out. 
The company has now shifted its focus to selling software. It briefly had a nostalgia-fueled increase in its share price this year, which later nearly returned to its original price. While the market has been saturated with multiple companies claiming a stake in the smartphone pie, hopefully, BlackBerry manages to return to some form of relevance with its current partnership. 

Read more
Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are back after several hours offline
facebook hacked

Well, here's one way to start a week off on the wrong foot: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram were all down for several hours on Monday. Yes, completely down. Starting at roughly 9 a.m. PT, Downdetector started to show a sharp spike in reports of outages -- though as we look back, users were discussing unsent messages and broken apps even earlier.

As of 4 p.m. PT, the services had for the most part returned to working order, albeit with some cobwebs left to shake out, leaving everyone collectively scratching their heads and wondering how an outage of this scale happened.

Read more
Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp saw record usage on New Year’s Eve

With the ongoing pandemic making New Year’s Eve a little different from those that have gone before, it will surprise few that services such as Messenger and WhatsApp saw record usage throughout the day and evening.

“Despite so many being apart from friends and family due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people were still able to connect with each other the same way they’ve been connecting all year: through online video and audio calling, and in record numbers,” parent company Facebook said in a message posted on Sunday, January 3.

Read more