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March 24, 2016

Facebook Ending Support for BlackBerry Devices

When WhatsApp announced that it was ending support and development for BlackBerry devices late last month, many took it as an unofficial death knell for the mobile platform—if not the final nail in BlackBerry’s mobile coffin. For those who disagreed with this assessment, the news that Facebook is also dropping BlackBerry support might prove a little more convincing.

As such, both the core Facebook app and Facebook Messenger will no longer support BlackBerry 10 going forward, although Facebook’s apps haven’t disappeared from the BlackBerry World app store quite yet. This seems like a natural follow up to WhatsApp’s news considering Facebook owns WhatsApp.

When WhatsApp dropped BlackBerry support, the company stated that “[BlackBerry devices] don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.” Facebook didn’t offer this level of insight into its decision—except to say that 99.5 percent of smartphones sold today run mobile operating systems by Apple, Google or Microsoft—but BlackBerry senior marketing manager for developer relations Lou Gazzola claimed in a blog post that BlackBerry did what it could to prevent this from happening.

“Recently, Facebook made the decision to discontinue support of their essential APIs for BlackBerry and WhatsApp announced they would end support for BlackBerry 10 and BBOS at the end of 2016,” wrote Gazzola. “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.”

Fortunately, those that continue to use BlackBerry OS devices can still access the mobile web version of Facebook. Better yet, BlackBerry 10 does support the use of Android apps via the Amazon app store so there’s still some form of official support. BlackBerry Priv users will of course remain unaffected since that particular device runs Android.


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