BlackBerry Plans To Launch BBM Across Multiple Platforms This Summer

Blackberry has just announced that they plan on launching their widely successful instant messaging service across the Android and iOS operating systems in the upcoming months. Pending Google Play and Apple App Store approval, we could see BBM on those operating systems sometime this summer.

The news was announced at the Blackberry Live 2013 Keynote conference in Orlando, Florida yesterday morning.

Fanatic BBM users have been eager to hear this news for years now, but yesterday it finally came to fruition.

From the initial launch, user can expect;

  • The immediacy of BBM chats
  • Multi-person chats
  • Voice note sharing
  • BlackBerry Groups, where BBM users are able to set up groups of up to 30 people and share calendar, photos, files and more

Now what does this mean for Blackberry? Is it a smart idea to launch their instant messaging service over Android and iOS operating systems? We will have to wait and see. I wonder if Blackberry Messenger will resurrect itself from the dead.

In recent years, Android and iOS have been pulling away from other competition. They dominate their industry, and pose many barriers of entry to any new competitors. It seems like Blackberry may have missed the “jump” in the mobile phone industry. They were not quick enough to respond to consumer preferences and trends. As of February 2013, Blackberry’s operating system can only boast a 3.5% market share (via Gartner). Android accounts for 69.7% of total operating systems solid on mobile devices, and iOS at 20.9%.

This being said, it is highly unlikely for Blackberry to overtake any on the top competitors in market share. So in hindsight, selling their service on other operating systems would seem like a lucrative decision. But I still have a one question. Why would someone pay more money for a messaging service that they already have, or is comparable to their default messaging service (assuming they charge money for their app on other platforms). Apps like WhatsApp, Voxer, and Snapchat are divulging into the overly saturated instant/social messaging niche in the app market today. What really separates BBM from the rest? It is going to be a tough process, but only time will tell with how well Blackberry will prosper with their recent decision.

Frank Boulben CMO at BlackBerry, speaking at the Blackberry Live 2013 Keynote conference

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Stay tuned for more information…