BlackBerry Messenger (or BBM as it’s more commonly known as) is an extremely popular service for BlackBerry devices which allows for VOIP calls, File sharing, face to face video communication and screen sharing and of course instant messaging (some of these are only available on BB10 devices). BlackBerry announced today that it would be launching the service for free on iOS and Android devices this summer (subject to approval by Google Play and the Apple App Store). This is big news for those platforms and more so for BlackBerry. Previously BlackBerry said they would not allow the app to become a multi platform one as they saw it as a strategic advantage for BlackBerry since so many people were fans of it (with more than 60 million monthly active users and about 51 million daily active users who are connecting with friends or colleagues an average of one and a half hours every day). There’s been no mention as of yet of it coming to the windows phone platform.
This will really set the cat amongst the pigeons as BBM is set to challenge other popular multi platform messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Viber (both also popular on BlackBerry devices).
BlackBerry announced that the first release will offer the following to Android and iOS users:
- 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
Hopefully with more services to follow.