Blackberry Confirms BBM App on iOS and Android

It is reported from sources that BlackBerry is making its Messenger (BBM) real-time messaging service available on iOS and Android platforms from summer, aiming to attract and retain users.


“We will make BBM available as the premiere multiplatform messaging solution all around the globe, and even better, it’s free,” BlackBerry Chief executive Thorsten Heins said at the BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, FL. “This is such a great experience, it’s just too good to keep it only to ourselves.”

He also called the move “a statement of confidence”. BlackBerry says that BBM has more than 60 million monthly active users, with more than 51 million using BBM for an average of 90 minutes per day. Its customers collectively send and receive more than 10bn messages daily, with almost half read within 20 second of being received, it said.

BBM for iOS and Android will start with messaging and groups features, but will roll out “feature parity” including voice calling, screen sharing, and video calling later this year, Heins said. It will be available for devices running iOS 6 and Android 4.0 or higher.

‘Channels’ for BBM

The cross-platform BBM will also include “channels,” a new BBM-based social network that will let businesses and celebrities create affinity groups, Heins said. Some of the initial channels include a Formula 1 car team, BlackBerry itself, and the musical artists Alicia Keys, Goo Goo Dolls, and Tegan and Sara. (Some of the channels are shown in the image above.)

Heins did a demo of Channels, which seem to function a little like Facebook fan pages. If you subscribe to a channel, you can see all of that person’s updates, talk back to them and see what other followers are saying. You can also create your own channels, where you control the content and which can have an unlimited number of followers.

“Imagine the dialogue that can now exist between the BBM users and the businesses, celebrities and groups that they’re passionate about,” Heins said. He also added that the BBM Channels is in beta right now, the commercial launch is coming later this summer.

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