Facebook snubs BlackBerry – what does this mean for your website?
It’s official. Facebook has announced plans to stop supporting BlackBerry OS 10 by the end of the year, meaning it will no longer support social media apps on the device. As Ars Technica reports, this follows on from a similar move by popular messaging app WhatsApp, which will also end its BlackBerry support by the end of 2016.
This blow to BlackBerry is hardly a surprise. After all, the device once known as the “CrackBerry” has been all but buried by an avalanche of iPhones and Android devices over the past 10 years.
But what does it mean for your website?
Devices change, websites respond
We’ve all had the experience of loading up a website on our smartphone and having to pinch and slide like crazy before we can read the text – perhaps looking up the opening hours of a local Thai restaurant or doctor’s office. And we’ve all hopefully experienced the joy that comes from using a well-built, “responsive” website that can adapt its layout and styling automatically, depending on the device we’re using.
Importantly, responsiveness matters for web browsers too. A responsive website will shift its presentation to meet the needs of Explorer, Firefox, Chrome etc, and should also adjust to the size of your browser window.
But the fact that huge companies like Facebook are finally backing away from BlackBerry is a reminder that not all devices are created equal.
When building a new website it’s near impossible to create something that will look perfect across every device and in every browser, from the shiniest iPhone to the version of Explorer still running on that ancient family PC.
All this adds up to one time-consuming but important task: testing. Checking how your site looks on today’s most popular devices and browsers is a key step in the launch phase, along with testing things like contact pages, links and image load times.
That said, it’s also useful to remember that your site won’t necessarily look perfect everywhere. Don’t panic if a small number of users report that it looks a little “strange” on their particular device.
If you do know someone who still owns a BlackBerry, send us a screenshot of how your site looks to them. We’d love to see the results!