BBM crossplatform

In a better-late-than-never announcement, Canada-based BlackBerry today posted a surprising announcement confirming it will be bringing its BlackBerry Messenger platform to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform. Yes, BlackBerry’s killer app won’t be exclusive anymore.

BlackBerry’s move comes amid consolidation in the instant messaging space. Two increasingly popular services, Viber and WhatsApp, recently passed 200 million users each.

With iMessage pretty much ruling the messaging game on iOS devices and Google’s rumored unified chatting platform dubbed Babel expected soon, it is no surprise that BlackBerry Messenger will be available to mobile users who don’t use BlackBerry devices…

The official announcement on the company’s blog lists the following features that will be initially supported on iOS and Android:

  • 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

The BlackBerry Messenger service will be released for Android and iOS as a free app this summer.

The iOS edition will support iOS hardware running iOS 6 and above. Its Android counterpart will require Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later devices.

BlackBerry Messenger claims 60 million monthly active users, with more than 51 million daily active users sending and receiving more than ten billion messages each day, “nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps.”

BlackBerry Messenger coming to iOS (teaser 002)

Like other similar services, BlackBerry Messenger lets you exchange instant messages and supports delivered and read statuses. In underscoring the reliability and engagement of its platform, the firm stated that almost half of all messages are read within twenty seconds of being received.

Support for voice and video chatting will be added to the  iOS/Android build later this year. A future update will also enable BBM Channels, a newly announced social engagement platform within BlackBerry Messenger that lets you connect with the businesses, brands, celebrities and groups.

BlackBerry Live (teaser 001)

This is certainly a welcomed move on BlackBerry’s part, albeit way overdue. The app will let you chat with your BlackBerry-totting friends right from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad devices (in addition to Android smartphones and tablets, of course).

In my view, Blackberry should have made the services available on all platforms a long time ago. Whether or not this is a futile effort remains to be seen given the large installed base of Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, iMessage and Google chat services.

Viber, for instance, recently launched a desktop chat client for Mac and Windows PCs and we expect rival WhatsApp to follow suit. Microsoft-owned Skype is already available on a number of desktop and mobile platforms and Google is expected to fix its messaging conundrum with an upcoming release of the unified Babel messaging service that will reportedly include a “first-class iOS experience.”

Will you be using BlackBerry Messenger on your iDevices?

  • Boss

    Wow! dumb move thats the only reason why people buy a BlackBerry

    • iosPixel

      Yes and no.

      What happens when these consumers stop buying blackberrys but their whole world is BBM?

      RIM must realise its handsets will fail.

      • MarcPhilippeB

        then their not gonna buy blackberries, and thats obviously bad for Blackberry. if bbm is their whole world won’t be relevant anymore then.

      • Several customers come in to my store all the time with The new Blackberry z10… And its multitasking is way better then iOS, even Android. it’s unix core allows for android apps to wrapped and ran with no hitches, and its incredibly smooth.

      • MarcPhilippeB

        So, tell mw whats better at bb10 regarding multitasking? The hub? Thats notification center on iOS.

    • thats not true…people dont buy BB because of BBMessanger anymore..not in era of Viber,WhatsApp,etc…they are buying it because of other things. But still pretty clever move from Blackberry,because if it will be good enough, it could have more users than WA,Viber,etc…

      • People have always bought BB either for business as its secure or BBM mostly for BBM (young kids) its waaaay better than WA, Viber and others which are just mere Copies of BBM i used to be a BBM user for 1 years and moved to iphone as i hated the hardware which lasted 1-2 minor updates and its considered finished as they bring out a successor. Which in my opinion is one of the downfalls of RIMs BB. But BBM is amazing to be honest would definately want it on iphone 5 but i hated the unneccessary Broadcast Messages

      • Was just wondering..other things like what ?

    • Not really actually. It gives people who want to move to Blackberry but refrain from doing so because they lose iMessage a reason to enjoy the Blackberry fully, since BBM will be available on iOS as well.

  • Why not ?!

  • We really need iOS app for this great blog 🙂

    • iosPixel

      What we need is a reliable DISQUS app…Luckily there is one in the works!

    • Bob

      Add bookmark to homescreen, problem solved.

      • Ian

        Looks a ton better you’re saying?

    • there is one on cydia.

  • chepeloni

    about freaking time!!!! a little too late though … some of those who i wanted to contact through bbm already ditched your sucky devices and those who still love you use whatsapp

  • hasan51h

    Finally .

  • tim

    should they have really done this a long time ago? in comparison, this would akin to apple opening up iMessage. perhaps this may be a way for BB to revive itself, but if they weren’t in this situation this would have never happened

  • Boss

    Wonder if each account will have a BBM Pin I don’t like using a phone number or email

    • chepeloni

      are you one of those that leaves their contact information on websites like this? “add me 43RFD36 15/m/usa” lol .. just kidding

      • Victor

        How would you know

  • Fuckk Yeah

  • RIP WhatsApp? Especially since it is moving into a subscription service and this is free.

    • Whatsapp will most likely be 69pence or 99cents per year (thats how they do it on android) which if you send 3 picture messages on whatsapp will have paid for itself for the entire year as opposed to 3 mms messages so I’m pretty sure bbm isn’t going to spell out the end for whatsapp!

      • i wouldnt pay a single penny even for app itself, so definitely not gonna pay 99 cents/year….besides,no one is sending mms messages anymore….

  • Been looking forward for this forever and now it’ll soon be here. Yay!

  • Alhamdulillah

  • Brace yourselves. Broadcasts messages are coming. This was the main reason i gave up on blackberry. Stupid people sending stupid jokes the whole day.

  • Bob

    This is very good news. It’s a bad move on Blackberry’s part though as this is the only exclusive thing they have, the only reason why a lot of people apart from business users buy Blackberries is because of BBM. I guess they’re probably going to eventually stop production of phones as they’re in a really bad place right now. Their stock prices are at an all time low.

  • WHY

  • I think this will bring some unity between blackberry users and iOS and android users. However for it to be a success in terms of business. The app should be paid for but cheap and certain features within the app should also be paid for. Making it free only benefits the user and will weaken blackberry.

  • I don’t understand why people want Blackberry to fail. More competition = Better products for us.

    • well because like in my country, it’s hard to change from blackberry because EVERYBODY is using it, once u move to apple or android, you become disconnected with those people, from clients, friends, etc. blackberry users not really use whatsapp or etc because it crash and burn there.. so i wish they go to hell ;D

    • Bob

      Because they’re not competition.

  • Archit

    Reason to buy Blackberry=BBM
    Now BBM= iOS & android.
    Blackberry would be like… Oh god why!

    • MarcPhilippeB

      you got it

    • and why do you think? their new phones and BB10 OS are great

      • Archit

        Do you even know their price!
        iPhone is way better then this piece of shit…
        N don’t forget… iOS 7 is on his way…….

  • Gorgonphone

    this is just like when sega died and started putting all their big games on IOS PS3 and… black berry is officially dead..

  • most people don’t like their contacts been used by whatsapp. You literally get access to entire library of contacts. So this removes privacy. For eg , my boss downloads whatsapp , whatsapp accesses contacts so now im one of his contacts. He can now see me online. While i know i can block him, but i dont want to do this with every single individual person. However if bb messenger brings over their bb pin to ios and android its a win win for everyone.

  • mybe

  • At least it’s free

  • This may kill their sales of handsets, but it is a smart move on BlackBerry’s part to stay afloat, in my opinion anyways.

  • sleeperjoe

    This would have been an excellent opportunity for Heins/BlackBerry 2 or 3 years ago. Back then it would have been a viable challenger to Whatsapp/Viber/Line etc. Now it’s just sad that they’re doing this to try to remain relevant.

    That said I will prob still use it for those die hard friends who swear by BBM.

  • Alex

    the best move they could make is to run the Android OS on Blackberry

  • Why would I want to have a specific App to talk to those who have BBs? Just use WhatsApp. One of the things I hate about all these Messenger solutions is that you end up having fragmentation, meaning you have one app for one thing. A waste of screen space. I despise fragmentation.

  • This is awesome!! Especially as WhatsApp and Viber are looking to turn into an annual subscription service (which is good, better for them to make money somehow instead of dieing away), they will need competition to prevent them from getting too greedy. I think over $200 M/year in revenue is big enough for them (WhatsApp and Viber) to survive, i.e. $1/year/user.

    Should either of them ever go above that annual subscription ($1/year), there’ll be competition to jump to until they loose their greed.

  • Lol they not making money anymore this is like a last resort

  • Owh yeah!!! Will this be avalable for ipad and pod touch?

  • inf3rn0

    “Hey, we’ve got this great application, and because we’re so naive, we’ll give it you all other OS’ for free!”

    -Good guy blackberry

  • This couldve worked 1 or 2 years back. Its too late now. People have moved on to whatsapp now. I aint payin for this shit

  • maverickmax

    RIM should become a software company..

  • H5ire

    Still WhatsApp ^ftw..!! 😀

  • I think whatsapp has just retired. For all the android users it will be good because of the subscription fee. Thus Iphone users will adopt it!

  • A moment of silence for those who purchased BlackBerry just to use BBM.

  • hey, guys there is a Q in my mind, how are we going to get BBM ID?, if this is really gonna happen. Because each Blackberry has a privet BBM ID.

  • The app is fee but will the subscription be free as well?

  • Seriously, this is bummer. What’s the point of having a blackberry smartphone if IOS and Android will also have a BBM app? Bad move for RIM.

    Well, anyway, I think its time to say buh-bye to my blackberry since I also own an android. Oh well….

  • Lala LaTrese

    BBM was the only thing I missed about the BB. I’m excited its making its way to iOS, although, I know it’s not the smartest move because I’m pretty sure there’s a large percentage of people who still have a BB solely because of BBM