A new door has opened for BlackBerry users wanting to connect with those using Apple and Android devices. A new version of BlackBerry’s proprietary messaging platform was recently released and at first glance, is proving to be quite successful. In its first 24 hours of availability, the free instant messaging software app was downloaded 10 million times. Within a week, more than [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]20 million users[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]20 million users[/tp] downloaded the Internet-based application, which is compatible with iOS and Android platforms.
BlackBerry Messenger 7.0.1 was released in March 2013 for BlackBerry devices only and allowed instant messaging, voice chat and video calls between users. Messages sent via BBM are transmitted over the Internet using the BlackBerry PIN system, so then, only BlackBerry users could communicate with each other.
However, in October 2013, after several updates to fix some bugs and enhance its performance, BlackBerry rolled out a newer version of BBM for Android and iOS users, allowing them to use the same chat and text features as BlackBerry users. This upgraded version includes new Emoticons, BlackBerry ID Integration and BBM for talking or texting.
To use the BBM system, download it from Google Play or iTunes, if you are an Android or Apple device user. BlackBerry customers can go directly to the BlackBerry site. Users need a BlackBerry Messenger account to manage the software, and after signing up, will receive their PIN. Add contacts to the app by texting, emailing or sending a BBM message along with your PIN in an invite. BlackBerry uses PINs as opposed to email or phone number as a way to increase security.
What the Hype Is All About
Since its launch BBM has attracted more than 80 million active users, but BlackBerry hasn’t stated how it plans to benefit financially from the app. It still is being upstaged by WhatsApp, Skype, Yahoo!, Google and Line, which have hundreds of millions of active monthly users.
However, it’s too soon to see whether BBM can actually compete with its rivals. For some Apple users, BlackBerry Messenger can replace the existing iMessenger. But like the Android version, BBM for iOS doesn’t offer the same features that are available to BlackBerry users such as requiring them to sign in with an email address instead of a username. Users are also required to use a password and a PIN. But, as opposed to other platforms, users can now use group chat and broadcast messages.
Unfortunately, many critics feel that the demand for this app will soon dwindle. With BlackBerry, Android and Apple users able to communicate via social networks with Facebook Messenger, there isn’t a new need for this type of messaging.
But for BlackBerry customers who don’t text other ways, using BlackBerry Messenger is a great and easy way to stay in touch and get your job done at work, especially for those companies that have [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]BlackBerry BYOD policies[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]BlackBerry BYOD policies[/tp] in place. You can see when your messages are delivered and read too. BBM is simple and basic to use, which is why the application has drawn millions of users.
Guest article written by: Jennifer Thayer is a freelance technology writer. She enjoys writing about the latest tech gadgets, apps and news. Follow her on Twitter to see what she discovers next.