Earlier this week, we reported that WhatsApp announced that by the end of 2016, it will no longer be supporting the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS version of their app. Now I will start off by saying I am not a big WhatsApp user. I do have a WhatsApp account loaded up on every device that I use, but I barely use it. I am so engulfed in the BlackBerry Messenger world that most people know to communicate with me on BBM and not to even bother with trying to reach me on WhatsApp. I have no issue with WhatsApp, I just feel like BBM has always been a step ahead of WhatsApp.
When many folks read the news about WhatsApp, there were many folks that became worried about losing their beloved messaging client that they use with many of their friends and family members on a daily basis. WhatsApp has a lot of users out there, and a lot of them have gotten their friends and family members to join them on WhatsApp. They use WhatsApp as their primary method of communication with anyone who is important to them. In fact WhatsApp is even used in some countries as a way to communicate in events of emergencies. Since WhatsApp announcement of discontinuing their support for the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS versions, there has been a lot of anger and worry among WhatsApp BlackBerry users. Some have even created a petition to show WhatsApp that there are still a lot of users out there.
I can understand how big this is to WhatsApp users, but this could also be big news for BlackBerry and BBM. The big competitor for BBM has always been WhatsApp. I know there are many other messaging platforms out there but WhatsApp and BBM are really the big two power houses in the game. Many folks that are using WhatsApp are those who have data only plans for their device because they don’t want to pay the expensive bill that texting and calling plans bring with it. Another reason why people have been using WhatsApp is the fact that it can be used on pretty much any device that is out there, up until now that is. Before BBM when cross platform a few years ago, the only IM Client that was cross platform was WhatsApp, making an ideal way for friends, family members, and even business users to stay in contact with people. WhatsApp also has the ability from group chatting, and Delivered and Read receipts. If you have been using BBM for any length of time, you will probably notice that BBM does everything that I just listed, including the cross platform factor that BBM gained a few years ago.
With WhatsApp stopping support for BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS users it will mean a lot of users will start looking in BBM’s direction. Why wouldn’t folks want to switch, you still get all the great features like, group chats, delivered and read receipt, it only requires a data connection, and the fact that you get encryption with every chat, message retract, and access to BBM channel. To me BBM has always looked prettier as well.
Now don’t think that no more BlackBerry 10 or BlackBerry OS support for WhatsApp just benefits BlackBerry’s BBM growth, it also means that BlackBerry will have more reasons to improve BBM. A chance at gaining more users, means BlackBerry has to make their product look better than what else is out there. It is already the prettier date at the dance, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make it look prettier.
Of course this isn’t going to be an easy win for BlackBerry or BBM. There are still many variables that could come into play. There is the fact that BlackBerry 10 users can still side load the Android version of WhatsApp onto their device and be back in business. Now this road block won’t be the easiest for some folks, as it requires a little bit of work arounds which might be harder than just signing up for BBM. WhatsApp users can also simply upgrade to a device that supports WhatsApp again and avoid having to loss their WhatsApp access. They can upgrade to devices like the iPhone, Samsung devices, or even the BlackBerry Priv. To avoid this road Block, BlackBerry is going to need to put some hard work in to help avoid it and prove that BBM is the only messaging service that people need, hopefully John Chen and company realize this! This is something I have faith in.
I have been asked to sign the petition to make sure WhatsApp stays on BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS. Now the BlackBerry addict and BlackBerry fanboy in me tells me not to sign the petition, because I want to see BlackBerry win this battle! So, if you read this article and are as much as a BlackBerry fanboy as I am, then I am asking you to get all the WhatsApp BlackBerry 10 or BlackBerry OS users you know to switch to BBM! Lets help BBM and help Team BlackBerry!