The news certainly surprised me. And initially not in a good way.
Here’s what I know so far. BlackBerry phones that use the BB10 operating system, or who have the earlier BlackBerry 7.1 operating system, will lose the ability to navigate to Facebook in a couple of weeks. And the end-of-life period to use the WhatsApp messaging system on BlackBerry ends in a few months.
With that information, if you want to use Facebook through a BlackBerry phone, you would have to navigate to the web-based version of Facebook, which would severely limit your ability to experience the same level of Facebook activity as you had in the past.
Viewing the headline, one would think – “Wow, Facebook is cancelling support for BlackBerry products. Anybody who still has those BlackBerry phones needs to get a brand new iPhone, just like the ones I saw at the Apple conference with the rose gold and the burnished stainless steel and the touchscreen that was hand-crafted by skilled artisans…”
But here’s what the reporting about the Facebook / BlackBerry story completely missed.
The Facebook app for BlackBerry BB10 products wasn’t designed by Facebook. It was designed by a third party to work with BlackBerry’s network. And with that, those third-party operators needed Facebook’s API to continue to update that application. Well, Facebook decided to stop providing that API to the developers, and without that API, the BlackBerry app couldn’t be updated or repaired or patched.
And there’s one other thing that the reporters didn’t mention. Listen carefully. Not all BlackBerry phones operate with the BB10 operating system.
In fact, BlackBerry just built a brand new phone. It’s called the PRIV. You know.. that waycool new BB phone with the slide-out keyboard? And it operates on an Android hierarchy. And Facebook has a nice little Android-based FB app, works wonderfully with my PRIV.
Yep, this marriage of BlackBerry and Android can run well with Facebook. And it can run Facebook’s Messenger service, and it can do so quite well.
So yeah, I’ll continue to use my BlackBerry PRIV to connect and communicate with Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and everything else. And it will work as well as – or, as far as I’m concerned, much better than – all those iPhones and Samsungs and whatnots.
And I still have my old BlackBerry Q10 phone… and it still works. I don’t use it as a dedicated telephone any more, but it still works as a WiFi hotspot, it still takes pictures and video and audio, its GPS and turn-by-turn navigation is still robust, and it still has native and downloadable photography apps in it (including a light meter, some star charts, some moon phase charts and a couple of weather channels).
As far as I’m concerned, BlackBerry hasn’t died. It’s evolved. And the PRIV is the cell phone company’s best example of evolution.
Hey Facebook… take a listen from this BlackBerry user, one of many who use your website.
There’s an old saying …
You may think I’m dead…
But don’t throw dirt on my grave just yet.