Popular cross-platform messaging app, WhatsApp is now going to be available on BlackBerry 10, in spite of a previous statement from a member of the WhatsApp back in December of 2012. According to James Richardson of CrackBerry, a team member responded to his question via email by saying “We have no plans to support BlackBerry 10 at the moment, sorry.” (Emphasis mine.)
Anyone is entitled to a change of heart, of course, and there is now cause for BlackBerry users to rejoice, as an official statement has been released. Yes, BlackBerry users will be able to use WhatsApp this month.
The native WhatsApp BlackBerry application is compatible with the following systems.
- 4.6.0 or higher
- BB10.0.10 or higher
Why the change of heart?
On BlackBerry’s part, it is a no brainer. They need all the attractive points they can get to get out of the funk they’ve been in for quite some time. They’re not even getting an Instagram app! On the part of WhatsApp, the official reason is:
“BlackBerry has been a great platform for WhatsApp for many years. Delivering WhatsApp on BlackBerry 10 devices is in line with our goals of ensuring that our customers around the world can continue to communicate with the most important people in their lives.” ~Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp
Whether or not (or how) the WhatsApp team was wooed by BlackBerry, well, that’s for us to find out.
What about BBM?
This is one big question floating around. BBM is a unique selling point of BlackBerry units, and the introduction of a native WhatsApp BlackBerry application does seem counterintuitive. After all, BBM is very much limited to users who use the brand, alienating contacts who use other phones. With the native WhatsApp BlackBerry application, the world is suddenly opened up. Why should people continue using BBM? Could this spell the death of BlackBerry’s own messaging app?
WhatsApp for BlackBerry is now available at BlackBerry World for free. Take note, though, that starting this year, WhatsApp is going to follow a subscription model, with the first year free and every year after at $0.99. Still not a bad deal at all.
[Image via The Cellular Guru]