Amid all the turmoil of its flailing mobile phone business, BlackBerry has finally found success with the cross-platform version BBM and is attempting to continue that growth by preloading the messaging software on select Android phones. Along with the potential for external growth, the functionality of the app is expanding as well with the release of Channels. Channels are a new way to interact with the brands, artists and communities you follow. You can start a public conversation with the other followers of any Channel or send a private message to the owner of the Channel. You can create your own Channel right now on BlackBerry’s website, but in order to access the new mobile feature, you will need a BlackBerry device. The addition should be migrating to iOS and Android versions of BBM “in the coming months,” the company says.
BlackBerry’s handset sales have remained an unmitigated disaster but its cross-platform BlackBerry Messenger service has proven to be a big hit for both iPhone and Android users. BlackBerry on Tuesday announced that it had signed a with several budget Android smartphone vendors to preload BBM on their upcoming devices. The Android vendors, which include Micromax, Brightstar and Zen, are mostly smaller vendors that sell devices to consumers in key emerging markets in Asia, South America and the Middle East. Janto Djojo, the chief marketing officer at Android vendor EVERCOSS, says that BBM “is incredibly popular in Indonesia and since its availability on Android, it’s become the must have messaging app for our customers,” so it looks like BlackBerry is doing a good job of covering its bases and getting BBM out to as many people as it can.
Line announced on Monday it has hit 300 million registered users worldwide. As a sign of how white-hot the messaging app market is, Line noted that it added 100 million users in the past four months alone. This is especially impressive considering that it took the app 19 months to reach its first 100 million users. More →
It’s been more than a month after BlackBerry Messenger debuted for the iOS and Android platforms and it is still doing remarkably well on the iPhone. On November 22nd, BBM was a top 5 iOS app for downloads in no fewer than 50 countries, including important markets like South Africa, Nigeria, Argentina, Colombia, the UAE, Canada and the U.K. I think it’s safe bet to say that almost nobody expected BBM to be battling evenly with WhatsApp in their download competition in markets like India and the U.K. at the end of November. Yet BBM has been able to demonstrate uncanny longevity in a variety of Latin American, African, European and Asian iPhone markets. More →
BlackBerry’s BBM service shocked the world when it finally went cross-platform last month. While many thought it would be dead on arrival, the app rocketed to No. 1 on the iPhone download charts and brought 20 million new users to the BBM platform within a week. BBM’s stunning success continued and in perhaps the most shocking of all early reports about BlackBerry’s new BBM efforts, the app’s engagement levels appear to be beating rivals. Downloads have slowed substantially since BBM debuted in October and the app is sinking fast, currently holding the No. 76 position on the top free iPhone app chart in the U.S. That position could soon get a boost, however, as BlackBerry makes its popular new BBM app available on Wi-Fi only iPads and iPod touch devices for the first time. More →
BlackBerry shocked the messaging app industry by hitting 20 million combined iPhone and Android downloads in just a week after BBM went cross-platform. Now, new Android data from Mobidia provided exclusively to BGR shows that right after its launch, BBM pulled ahead of or matched major rivals in the key metric of weekly engagement. This is particularly impressive considering that consumers who have downloaded BBM have not had much time to build up dense network of contacts that would drive extensive engagement, nor does BBM offer the kind of range of games, stickers or other diversions that LINE and Kik feature. More →
We are now witnessing the first signs of just how important messaging apps could become in North America for promoting games — and this has huge implications for BlackBerry’s battle for survival. Texting apps like LINE and Kakao are making hundreds of millions of dollars in Asia by acting as promotional tools for mobile games. 19 out of 20 top-grossing apps in South Korea are now distributed via KakaoTalk’s messaging platform. Last month, a mid-sized messaging app called Kik demonstrated how it is beginning to flex its muscles in America. More →
We have good news and bad news, BBM fans. The good news is that BlackBerry has confirmed its plans to bring new features to its cross-platform messaging app, and it has confirmed its intention to keep the service free forever. The bad news, however, is that BlackBerry has also confirmed that it will soon introduce a variety of ads to the Android and iPhone versions of its app. BlackBerry finally launched BBM for iPhone and BBM for Android last week after huge delays and a badly bungled first attempt to launch the app. Its success since then has been nothing short of shocking. BBM for iPhone was briefly No. 1 and it remains the No. 2 free app in America more than a week following its debut, but the millions of users who have downloaded the app so far are in for a surprise in the near future. More →
BlackBerry just announced that it has added 20 million iOS and Android users to its BBM messaging service in one week. This rockets BBM’s total monthly active user base to 80 million. How should we view these numbers? One way to approach them is to make some comparisons: It took Path 16 months to get to 10 million users after the revamped service was launched in the beginning of 2012. Kik took two years to hit 30 million users; Viber took two years to hit 50 million. It took LINE one year to get to 40 million users — and that was considered a stellar success back in 2012. More →
BBM is a shocking cross-platform success. Many wrote the app off as launching several years too late to really be a player in the global messaging market, and the app’s very rocky start certainly didn’t do it any favors. BBM shot to No. 1 on Apple’s top free apps chart in the U.S. and then quickly conquered the world. It still sits in the No. 2 spot after nearly a week of availability, which is indeed pretty stunning for a messaging app, or any app for that matter. It has also amassed more than 5 million downloads on the Android platform and was Google Play’s No. 21 free app with a combined rating of four stars at the time of this writing. But about those stars… More →
Something pretty strange is going on. BlackBerry is having a great week for the first time since Natasha Bedingfield topped the charts. On its third day, BBM for iPhone is clinging onto the No. 2 slot on the top free iOS app chart after rocketing to No. 1 right out of the gate. This is no trivial achievement. Nokia’s HERE maps for iPhone hit the No. 1 spot in the U.S. soon after it launched, but it had plunged to No. 27 by its third day. Morbid curiosity only takes you so far. And that is what many expected BBM to do — hit the top and drop out of the top-10 in about a day. Yet the app is showing remarkable legs considering it was downloaded 10 million times during its first 24 hours of availability. Notable early glitches don’t seem to have stalled its momentum at all. More →
There is absolutely no way that the recent launch(es) of BlackBerry’s famous BBM app for Android and the iPhone could have embodied BlackBerry’s dramatic history any more perfectly. First and foremost, the company’s cross-platform offerings are launching years later than most industry watchers believe they should have. Then, when BlackBerry finally did manage to debut its BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone apps, it had to halt their rollout due to some major technical issues. More →
A day after BlackBerry finally managed to push its BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone apps out the door, WhatsApp fired a warning shot to remind the struggling smartphone vendor of what it’s up against. BlackBerry touted on its BBM Twitter account that it activated more than 5 million new BBM users on Android and the iPhone in less than 8 hours, which is certainly an impressive feat. WhatsApp, however, now has 350 million monthly active users. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum made the announcement on stage during a keynote presentation at the Nokia World 2013 conference, and that figure is up substantially from the 300 million monthly active users WhatsApp had just over two months ago in August. As the cross-platform mobile messaging market becomes increasingly crowded, WhatsApp is showing no signs of slowing down despite its refusal to embrace the new revenue channels being exploited by rivals, such as mobile payments and gaming platforms.