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BBM users, get ready for ads – BlackBerry starts testing sponsored content


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.

Before he abruptly left the company last month, as BGR exclusively reported, BBM boss Andrew Bocking confirmed that BlackBerry planned to inject ads into its popular BBM messaging app. Now, BerryReview reports that the company has indeed begun to test ads in some beta versions of its BBM client. The ads will not yet appear in any public versions of BBM.

So, what kind of ads is BlackBerry testing, exactly?

As we stated, there will not be annoying ads posted in-line in BBM chats. Instead, the company is currently testing two types of ads, one that will see “sponsored invites” appear in BBM’s invites section, and a second that will be presented as “sponsored channel posts” displayed in the updates section of BBM.

BlackBerry has not stated when it expects to begin rolling ads out in public versions of BBM for BlackBerry devices, the iPhone or Android.

UPDATE: BlackBerry ran a blog post on Tuesday to further explain exactly how ads will work in BBM. You can read it on BlackBerry’s blog here.

Zach Epstein

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.

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