After WhatsApp, the next popular app on smartphones across platforms is in all probability Facebook.
With the app version of this social media available, its popularity has no doubt increased multifold. Even as the app’s popularity continues to grow, Facebook has revealed shocking news of its plans to stop support for the BlackBerry platform very soon. This announcement has been made within just a month after announcements were made of WhatsApp going off BlackBerry’s app store. Both Facebook and its Messenger services will soon find themselves pulled off the BlackBerry app store along with WhatsApp by the end of the year 2016. In other words, BlackBerry devices that run on the manufacturer’s own operating system will no longer be able to support this social networking media through an app after the specified period.
At present, Facebook is listed among the top 10 free apps on BlackBerry along with WhatsApp. Although, BlackBerry has tried for various negotiating talks with Facebook in this regard for their continuous support, there has been no fruitful outcome. The explanation given by Facebook was that the BlackBerry platform was not among the top rated operating systems, and that it wanted to focus developing or enhancing its app for the top selling platforms like Android. Even as the manufacturer engaged in serious conversations with Facebook to continue its services, BlackBerry has expressed its discontent and unhappiness over the turn of events.
However, BlackBerry lovers can take consolation over the fact that they can still gain access to the mobile website version of Facebook to keep in touch with buddies around the world and do all that they used to do with an app. The company has promised its fans that this web based version will be enriched with various rich and interesting features to a large extent compensate for the thrill of using the app. There is also good news for users of BlackBerry handsets running on Android such as the BlackBerry Priv. These users can continue to use Facebook through the Android app available from Amazon. BlackBerry fans can hope for the same result with WhatsApp too.
The pivotal reason for this hot favorite app to get knocked off BlackBerry devices is that Facebook has taken a firm decision to no longer support what it terms as essential APIs needed for the functioning of its platform. This in turn will have a drastic impact on Facebook and a gamut of other third party apps that rely on these APIs for their effective functioning. With the APIs access for its operating system coming to an end, features that were specific and pertained to only the app version had to be dropped off.
Yet, to offer users uninterrupted usage as far as possible, BlackBerry has made it mandatory for BB OS 7.1 and BB OS 10 users to run the app installed on their system to the most recent version by the end of March 2016. If this is not done, they will not be able to access the old version either. However with the updated version, BlackBerry users will experience quite a few changes including the inability to make use of some of the old functionalities. These are some of the vital modifications that you will notice on your Blackberry smartphone that were present earlier but not after the update.
You cannot synchronize your Facebook contacts with the contacts in your phone address book. Earlier, these contacts appeared along with the contacts whose phone numbers you had saved. With the update, your Facebook contacts will no longer appear here. There will be no integration with Blackberry hub for any Facebook related activity such as notification alerts, friend requests, and chats or messages. Push notifications facility has also been eliminated in the updated version. It is not going to be possible to share media across the operating system with the Share icon.
People using BlackBerry devices as a fashion symbol are likely to be the ones who are affected the most with this decision that Facebook announced recently. Alternatively, given the fact that BlackBerry smartphones have been primarily designed to serve the enterprise and corporate markets, this decision may not actually turn out to be a big blow as you may think it to turn out to be.