BlackBerry (BBRY) fans aren't going to "like" the latest development in the saga of the struggling smartphone maker.
Facebook (FB) has unfriended the company, telling BlackBerry that it won't support its app on the company's devices. BlackBerry senior marketing manager Lou Gazzola wrote in a blog post that the company is "extremely disappointed in their decision" to end support for BlackBerry 10 and BBOS at the end of this year. He added that WhatsApp has also decided to end support for the products.
That means BlackBerry users won't be able to use the apps for Facebook and WhatsApp, but instead will have to visit mobile sites through a browser like Safari. While its device was nicknamed "CrackBerry" because of its addictive nature, the smartphone maker saw its fortunes wane with the rise of Apple's iPhone and the emergence of rival Android phones. The market is now almost split between Android and iPhone users, with BlackBerry only holding 1.2 percent of the smartphone market, according to ComScore.
"The app landscape continues to evolve, and in ways that are not always within our control," Gazzola wrote. "We fought back to work with WhatsApp and Facebook to change their minds, but at this time, their decision stands (but let them know how you feel on social media, using the hashtag #iLoveBB10Apps.)"
But the decision from Facebook may be the last straw for some users, with one consumer writing on BlackBerry's Facebook page, "Farewell BlackBerry! It's been a very frustrative (sic) experience," adding that he wasn't happy about the apps cutting off support.
It's not clear when Facebook and WhatsApp will end support for their apps, although it may have already happened in Facebook's case. While the Facebook app is still available for download on BlackBerry's app store, users have been complaining this week that the app is now redirecting them to a browser.
"I used to be a fan of iOS and Android until my wife encouraged me to buy BB," one reviewer noted in a review of the Facebook app for BlackBerry. "But right now am thinking of switching back to my iOS platform. This update is a mess. No need for an app if you are redirecting to Web page ..... Am switching by months end. Bye bye BlackBerry."