In spite of recording huge revenue losses, recent mass layoffs, and rumors of a possible sale of the company, BlackBerry is still popular and is gaining market share in some parts of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Their iconic instant messaging app, BlackBerry Messenger or commonly known as BBM has an estimated 60 million active users each month who send and receive about 10 billion messages each day.
BBM is a unique feature in BlackBerry devices and remains exclusive until this weekend as the company announced a couple of days ago that they’ll be releasing their popular instant messaging/mobile social network app – BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS devices. It will be joining the likes of WhatsApp, Line, Kik and WeChat in the crowded cross-platform instant messaging slash social network market.
If you’re not familiar with BBM, aside from sending text messages, users could also share photos and voice notes. It also features group chats that allow up to 30 users or friends to join in the chat. One great feature that made BBM popular is the use of a PIN. Each user is assigned a unique PIN that helps maintain privacy so users don’t have to give out their names, email addresses, or phone numbers.
With all the messaging apps out there like iOS’ iMessage, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, Kik, WeChat, etc., who would want to use BBM? I believe there’s still a market for it and that people who have family and friends living in countries or areas where BlackBerry is still popular like Indonesia, Malaysia, and India are the ones who would benefit the most.
Some of my Indonesian relatives and friends still use BlackBerry devices or have an iPhone or Android phone as their main phone but also keep a BlackBerry just so they could keep in touch with their family and friends back home.
BBM for Android will be available for download from the Google Play Store on September 21st, at 7 AM US Eastern Time while BBM for iOS devices will be available in the App Store on September 22nd. As of now, there’s no word whether BlackBerry will release a BBM for Windows Phone devices.
Anyone planning on downloading and installing BlackBerry Messenger on their Android or iOS device? Why not? Please share your thoughts.