I am quite surprised with the incredible response from the recent BBM for Android and iOS app. Over the past couple of years, the number of Blackberry customers have been decreasing. I have found that when asking customers why they are holding onto their Blackberry, I am told that it is mainly for their precious BBM app. Unfortunately, as people are moving away from Blackberry and towards iOS and Android anyway, even Blackberry’s biggest fan won’t have anyone left on his BBM list to message.
What is BBM?
BBM stands for BlackBerry Messenger. This was one of the first successful instant-messaging services on smartphones. The app is already provided when you buy your Blackberry device, enabling users to message, send files or voice notes with other BlackBerry users via 3G and free over Wi-Fi. A unique PIN is assigned to each Blackberry device, similar to having your own telephone number. Once you have added another Blackberry user’s PIN (or vice versa) you are able to start messaging. Blackberry Groups allows users to privately share calendar events, photos and other documents with up to 30 other BBM users. This has been extremely popular in offices.
Despite Blackberry launching a new operating system, they have found it extremely difficult to keep up in the smartphone market. The company lost many of its users to Android and iOS operating systems last year. Applications such as WhatsApp, which allow users to communicate over cross platforms became hugely popular and is currently much more useful than BBM.
Well, not anymore.
The official BBM app for Android and iOS has been launched after numerous delays, asking users to send their email address and wait for confirmation as there were 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours. You can download the app for free in the Google Play market, Apple App Store and select Samsung App Stores.
I tried to test out the app, and I was informed I would have to wait until I have reached the top of the waiting list. My Facebook news feed was eventually covered in status’ flaunting their new PINS and love for BBM.
Why hadn’t I received mine yet?
Someone informed me that users were able to sign up at BBM.com prior to the launch. These users were able to start using BBM immediately. Those who were similar to me and didn’t sign up, will have to register and wait for an email before they can activate the app.
So why now?
Personally, I believe that Blackberry should have launched this sooner – to prevent isolating users to either Android or iOS. Once decided, the software was supposed to launch on 21st September. However, an incomplete version of BBM for Android appeared online hours before its official launch. Apparently, this unofficial app was downloaded by more than 1.1 million people during its first eight hours of availability!
So are you excited for the return of BBM… Or are you a Blackberry user who is just excited to have their BBM friends back?!