100 million Google Play downloads for BBM; messaging app gets updated

100 million Google Play downloads for BBM; messaging app gets updated
On Wednesday, BlackBerry announced that it has signed up 100 million subscribers to its BBM for Android messaging app. The company pointed out that 2.4 million of its 3.7 million reviews on Google Play (65%) are 5-stars. Can all this translate into money for BlackBerry? Considering that 1 billion stickers have been used by BBM members (most of which must be purchased from the BBM Store), it would seem that the messaging app could factor into BlackBerry's bottom line.

On Monday, BlackBerry updated its BBM for Android app to version 2.7. The new features include the ability to create a custom 6-8 digits alphanumeric PIN. This is not a freebie. You will need to pay $1.99 a month for a customized PIN. For 99 cents a month, you can purchase a version of BBM that is completely free of ads.

The update also adds BBM support for Android Wear flavored smartwatches. You can see on your watch when a new BBM message arrives. The alert will include the sender's name and a discrete preview of the message. You can read complete messages and dismiss notifications with a swipe. Messages can be responded to using Google Now, or through pre-defined responses. You can also accept BBM invitations through an Android Wear powered smartwatch without having to use a smartphone.

The update to the Android app offers new enhancements to BlackBerry Channels and offers users the ability to share pictures through group chats. Chat bubbles are now square with rounded D's and R's. You can find the update in the Google Play Store under My apps. If you haven't loaded BBM to your phone, it is a free download. The messaging app is also available for the BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone platforms.

source: BlackBerry

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123 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

BBM is the absolute best messaging app. New features are added constantly, and it's seeing good growth. Kudos, BlackBerry, for making such an awesome messaging app.

5. ventusnova

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Not to sound rude, i have never used this app, how is it the best? like if you do not mind, could you provide some details please sir?

10. Mxyzptlk unregistered

To get the maximum benefit of BBM the other party has to be using it otherwise it's just another face in the clouds.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

It's the same for all the other cross platform messaging apps, so what's your point, exactly?

17. Mxyzptlk unregistered

My point, since you apparently missed it, was that the other party has to be using it. If no one else is using BBM then it would be redundant to use it.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

My point, since you obviously missed it, is that is a forgone conclusion. There is not one cross platform instant messaging app available today that allows you to send messages, calls, etc, without the other party using the same app.

22. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Actually Google Hangouts and Google Voice allows you to send text messages and make calls to people even if they aren't using the service. I've done it before as a last resort but it's possible.

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

It's totally unreliable. I've tried it also, and it never worked for me, as the recipient never received the message. Google Voice is also not Instant Messaging, like BBM.

28. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I never said it was an instant messaging service. I said you could send text messages. You can however use Hangouts for Instant Messaging. I never said it was 100% reliable. It's a Google product of course. But it has worked before when necessary.

31. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Neither of them qualify as a "Cross Platform" messaging the way BBM is. The availability isn't for all platforms. Hangouts, for example, isn't available for WP or BlackBerry.

53. Mxyzptlk unregistered

How doesn't hangouts not qualify? Cross platform is cross platform regardless if it's available to a small group of users.

60. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Let me rephrase: I don't consider it much of a cross platform messaging app since it doesn't include the other OS's.

37. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Hangouts also integrates with sms on Android phones, hence sms don't actually come from Hangouts. I'd actually like to see BBM integrate with sms.

52. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Another reason why BBM seems redundant. No sms integration.

55. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Not all messaging apps have sms integration, I suppose those are redundant too? iMessage lacks voice and video calls, so by your logic it's redundant also.

80. Mxyzptlk unregistered

iMessage is part of ios sms so no. Besides that's what facetime is for.

84. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

By your logic, iMessage is redundant since it doesn't allow voice or video calls like the other apps. BlackBerry 10 devices allow for video calls without having to use BBM.

89. Mxyzptlk unregistered

iMessage doesn't need to do voice or video calls. That's what FaceTime is for. Your ignorance is showing. And iOS can use FaceTime. Your point?

93. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

So in other words, you refuse to acknowledge the shortcomings of iMessage, and I'm the ignorant one? Pot, the kettle is calling...

98. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You refuse to acknowledge blackberrys shortcomings. You're being ignorant.

102. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

You refuse to acknowledge iOS's shortcomings. You're being ignorant.

106. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Copy/pasting my response makes you look like a shill.

110. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

You're a shill, whether copy or pasting is involved or not. However, it's the weekend, and I've better things to do than entertain PA's loneliest troll. I'm done with you on this article. You will of course respond, like you always do, further proving my point, which is that you're a lonely troll looking for my attention. Go ahead, Mxy. Respond. I dare you.

39. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3125; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Viber, Whatsapp, iMessaging. Those are the 3 largest messaging apps and EVERY single one of them require app usage on both ends of the messaging. Facebook has messaging integrated but I don't consider it a messaging app. But even if it were, the other person would need it too. Your statement is without merit.

43. Mutation.X

Posts: 185; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

"face in the cloud" I never seen anyone using BB phones. Why are the still around? There days are over. Why do people buy this unwanted phone....?

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Voice and video calls over 3g, 4g, LTE...screen sharing...delivery and read notification...picture, voice and music sharing, file sharing, BBM shop, BBM Money, which allows transfer of money to a recipient, low data consumption, completely free to download and use, and is very private and secure, via the use of a unique pin number supplied to user. No phone number necessary. New features added on a regular basis. There is also BBM meetings, and BBM for enterprise, which is ultra secure.

23. Mxyzptlk unregistered

No denying it's a feature filled app. Just that you have to have both parties using it. If you're in business that'd be fairly easy. Not saying the features are useless or anything. Just take that in mind that there are a lot of casual users over business users.

29. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Yes, and there are a lot of casual BBM users. Of the 45 BBM groups I'm apart of, only 6 of them focus on " business" or "work" at all. Each group consists of no less than 22 members. Again, both parties have to be using all the cross platform instant messaging apps.

30. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Your point? I didn't say they don't use BBM. I said using it would be redundant if you have no one else using BBM.

32. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

My point is that it goes the same for all cross platform messaging apps. I never said that you said they don't use BBM. Read what I typed.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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