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Mobile Communications

Facebook kills off BlackBerry support, just like WhatsApp

When WhatsApp dumped BlackBerry at the end of February we probably should’ve expected the service’s parent company would follow suit. Now it has, albeit with less fanfare than WhatsApp. BlackBerry took to its blog recently to say it was disappointed that Facebook decided to “discontinue support of their essential APIs for BlackBerry.”

Facebook doesn’t actually make its BlackBerry own apps, except for Facebook Messenger. Instead, it provides developer access for BlackBerry to make an official Facebook app. Microsoft does something similar for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.

It’s not clear if Facebook will end support for BlackBerry under the same conditions as WhatsApp—namely, that the discontinuation affects BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 and goes into effect at the end of 2016. We’ve asked Facebook to clarify and will update this story should the company respond.

Why this matters: High-profile apps flee smaller platforms like BlackBerry and Windows mobile all the time. Facebook, however, is arguably among the 1 percent of the top draws in an app store—the must-have of must-have apps. Its retreat is a massive blow and yet another signal that the BlackBerry’s mobile operating system is in dire straits. With BlackBerry’s own short-term future plans revolving around Android it’s likely we’ll see more big apps back out of BlackBerry soon.

If you’re a current BlackBerry user, losing the official Facebook app stings, but Facebook’s mobile web app still works and it's actually a great way to access the social network. I should know. I have a Lumia.

IDG Insider

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