PISSED OFF BlackBerry owners have launched a petition to fight WhatsApp's decision to stop supporting the software later this year.
WhatsApp announced this weekend that its BlackBerry OS app will be discontinued by the end of 2016. This is unlikely to come as a huge surprise to many, considering BlackBerry's measly share of the global smartphone market, but users were quick to fight back against WhatsApp's decision with the launch of an online petition.
The petition reads: "WhatsApp decided to stop supporting BlackBerry 10 at the end of this year. This is non sense [sic] a lot of people still use the platform daily. I hope WhatsApp/Facebook sees [sic] this. At least give us the service with no updates. Please share this with your friends! WhatsApp will hear us [and] care about us."
The petition had 120 signatures at the time of writing which, given BlackBerry's share of the smartphone market, could be all of the company's userbase.
WhatsApp and Facebook have yet to respond to the petition.
WhatsApp will also end support for Nokia’s Symbian S40 and S60 operating systems, Android versions 2.1 and 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1. These operating systems "don't offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future", according to WhatsApp.
"This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family and loved ones using WhatsApp," the company added.
WhatsApp reflected on happier times for BlackBerry, saying that BlackBerry and Nokia commanded 70 percent of mobile devices when the messaging app launched in 2007. This figure has now shrunk to less than one percent, and WhatsApp noted that Apple, Google and Microsoft now account for 99.5 percent of smartphones sold globally.
WhatsApp suggested "upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone or Windows Phone" to continue using the service.
News of WhatsApp canning the BlackBerry app arrives just weeks after the company celebrated reaching the one billion user mark.
The figure had Mark Zuckerberg rubbing his hands with glee. He said at the time: "One billion people now use WhatsApp. Congrats to Jan [Koum], Brian [Acton] and everyone who helped reach this milestone!" Zuckerberg said.
"WhatsApp's community has more than doubled since joining Facebook. We’ve added the ability for you to call loved ones far away. We've dropped the subscription fee and made WhatsApp completely free. Next, we're going to work to connect more people around the world and make it easier to communicate with businesses.
"There are only a few services that connect more than a billion people. This milestone is an important step towards connecting the entire world." µ
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