BlackBerry is up more than 5% on Thursday, buoyed by the CEO’s comments about partnerships that might mirror the recent Apple-IBM pact. That Apple-IBM alliance was seen by some as a fatal blow to BlackBerry, since it gives iOS another boost in the enterprise market. But BlackBerry has recently started resembling a mythical Canadian beast that absorbs fatal blows with polite disinterest, growing only stronger as its prospects weaken. More →
BlackBerry shocked Wall Street on Thursday by delivering a much narrower loss than expected. The company is now growing its cash pile even though it is shipping fewer than 2 million phones per quarter. This stabilization is a feat in itself, but where is future sales growth going to come from? Messaging app system BBM is the best bet. It now has close to 100 million active users — but some decidedly worrisome trends have emerged in recent months. More →
BBM is still a hugely popular messaging app and now there’s a new version of it that promises to be the most secure mobile messaging platform in the world. BlackBerry on Monday announced the availability of BBM Protected, which functions just as BBM does except it now has an added layer of encryption in the form of a unique encryption key that’s shared exclusively between a message’s sender and its recipient. Even more impressively, BlackBerry says that “each message uses a new random symmetric key for message encryption,” so even if one key gets compromised it doesn’t mean all your messages will also be exposed. More →
Earlier this year, BlackBerry announced plans to release a new messaging service called BBM Protected that the company billed as an even more secure version of its popular messaging app. CrackBerry draws our attention to a new set of videos that it’s posted on YouTube showing a live demonstration of BBM Protected that gives us an idea of how it will deliver even better security than standard BBM. One of the ways that BBM Protected will keep your messages more secure is by encrypting every individual message you send and receive with a random key, which means that even if one of your messages gets compromised somehow, the hacker still won’t be able to access all of them because they’ll have different keys. Be sure to check out both videos showing off BBM Protected below. More →
Just as BlackBerry appeared doomed to fade into irrelevancy, the company’s popular chat application BlackBerry Messenger stormed back on to the scene, making its way to the iOS and Android app stores. Pitting a well known brand against relative newcomers such as Kik, LINE and recent Facebook acquisition WhatsApp, BBM managed to quickly steal a huge segment of the audience for itself. In case you still haven’t given it a try, James Richardson makes a strong case for BBM in a recent article at CrackBerry, so we decided to share his favorite features to see if this list is enough to convert you. More →
When BlackBerry released BBM for Android and iOS last year, it gave the company a much-needed hit that helped spark hope that the one-time smartphone titan could get a fresh injection of revenue from its popular messaging service. On Tuesday, BlackBerry released a new update for BBM that delivers one of the many ways the company plans to make money from the service: Stickers. More →
Although BlackBerry posted a much narrower loss than analysts expected last quarter, this piece of good news was somewhat offset by the fact that the company’s revenues missed expectations and dropped below $1 billion. That said, there is one bright spot for the company that’s unblemished by any dark clouds for the moment: The success of BBM. On the company’s earnings call on Friday, the company said that BBM now had 115 million registered users and 85 million monthly active users, which shows BBM is still growing from the quarter before when it had an estimated 80 million monthly active users. More →
The messaging app market has really started to heat up after Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion and after Alibaba’s investment in the far more obscure Tango granted it a $1 billion valuation. As popular entries like Viber, WhatsApp and Tango have found big strategic partners, the number of stand-alone messaging apps with more than 100 million registered users has dwindled. BBM and Kik are among the most notable indie messaging apps left looking for sugar daddies and their futures will hinge upon whether they can show real potential to generate revenue. That’s why BBM is now at such a crucial juncture: It is dipping its toes in the advertising market for the first time.
No, you’re not going to see advertisements pop up in the middle of your BBM chats… but BlackBerry just delivered on new CEO John Chen’s promise to adjust its BBM strategy to include actually monetizing the product. Now that BBM has dozens of messaging rivals and is no longer a draw that can attract new business and keep current customers locked in, BlackBerry is tasked with finding ways to turn BBM into a moneymaker. The first step, as we reported recently, is to toss in some advertisements. More →
WhatsApp has shown that having a hugely popular mobile messaging app can be very lucrative and now BlackBerry is looking to cash in on its own widely used cross-platform BlackBerry Messenger service. We already know that BlackBerry is planning to incorporate ads and in-app purchases into BBM but the company on Tuesday unveiled a new version of BBM that could make the mobile messenger into even more of a cash cow. More →
Getting a popular messaging app is one thing — monetizing it is another. BlackBerry has already said that selling ads on BlackBerry Messenger will be at least one part of its strategy to make money from BBM and on Friday the company announced another part: stickers. Stickers are basically little cartoon characters that replace the traditional emoticons in your BBM chats and make them more colorful and expressive. Interested buyers will be able to find stickers in the BBM Shop, a new in-app mobile store that’s currently in beta. In a lot of ways the stickers sound like in-app purchases that free-to-play mobile games have become fond of using as a way to generate extra cash, although hopefully BlackBerry is smart enough to avoid some of the mistakes that EA and other companies have made when implementing such a system.
We’re now starting to get a good idea of how much BlackBerry Messenger could be worth to BlackBerry. Now that WhatsApp has been bought for $16 billion and Viber has been bought for $900 million, we’ve got a basic floor and ceiling for BBM’s value, although the messaging service is probably much closer to Viber than it is to WhatsApp. More →
Japanese internet powerhouse Rakuten announced that it acquired Viber for $900 million. Viber has 300 million registered users and is known for its strength in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. The acquisition will no doubt reignite speculation about other mid-tier messaging apps. Behind the powerhouses like WhatsApp and LINE there is a cluster of messaging apps with strong growth and more than 100 million registered users – including two hailing from the picturesque hamlet of Waterloo, Ontario. Both Kik and BBM are on their way to hitting 150 million registered users by the end of 2014. And both have intriguing regional strengths that might make them as valuable — or even more valuable — than Viber. More →