Facebook announced last week that they are dropping Blackberry support, which means that moving forward in order to login on the social network the owner needs to go through the mobile version of the website. This is following WhatsApp’s announcement at the end of last month that it will also end support for Blackberry phones (along with Window Phone 7.1 and other ancient versions of Android) to focus development ‘on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use’.
It seems that BlackBerry’s mobile operating system is in dire straits; with Facebook being the top of the must-have apps – with over 1 billion users – it’s sad to see the slow and painful death of a phone that used to dominate the market. Facebook stated on the subject, ‘While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.’
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With social being the digital channel currently flourishing across several verticals and Facebook being (by far) the dominant player in that space, it is interesting, alarming and slightly intimidating to see how they are actually determining which devices are ‘worthy’ of ownership.
This move from the social giant shouldn’t affect our digital activity. Based on Facebook numbers, 99.5% of smartphone sales are covered by the most popular operating system providers; Apple, Google and Microsoft. It does act as a ‘warning sign’ though of Facebook’s power and what we should expect in the future.
It is worth recounting here that Facebook acquired WhatsApp two years ago for $19 billion, and Instagram back in 2012 for $1 billion. With all three of them being some of the basic apps that the majority of people use on a daily basis (along with Facebook Messenger), we should definitely expect more advertising opportunities to arise on those platforms. Instagram for example became broadly available in 2015, and we were quick to explore that avenue in its early days. Furthermore, WhatsApp was mentioned from almost all publishers and influencers during the Youth Marketing Strategy – held a couple of weeks ago – as the main new place to advertise; probably overtaking Facebook in a few years’ time. It looks like that Google has found a strong opponent in the digital advertising space after all…