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.

“It’s definitely a free service,” BlackBerry’s BBM boss Andrew Bocking told Canada’s The Morning Edition in a recent interview, CBC News reported. “We have other ideas on how to monetize that service.”

Those ideas, according to the report, involve adding advertising to BlackBerry’s Android and iPhone BBM apps. Ads will come to some new features that haven’t yet launched, Bocking said, such as BBM Channels. BlackBerry also plans to bring video and voice chat features to the apps in the coming months.

“We continue to plan to evolve the service and keep making it more engaging and have more reasons why people will come back to use the service,” Bocking noted.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.