BBM coming to Windows Phone between May and July; secure BBM for the enterprise on the way?
On Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that BBM will be coming to Windows Phone in the second quarter. Once BlackBerry launches the app, BBM will be pre-installed on some new handsets powered by Microsoft's mobile OS. The messaging app will also be pre-loaded on the forked Android OS running the Nokia X in some regions.
BlackBerry is hoping to expand the number of BBM users, which would increase the value of the messaging app. Considering that WhatsApp was valued by Facebook at $42 for each of its 450 million users, it has become obvious to BlackBerry that each new subscriber to BBM does add value to the entire company. On Friday, Chen said that BBM has 85 million monthly users and 113 million registered users.
Some of the new features on BBM are paying off. Chen pointed out that the number of discussion groups, also known as BBM Channels, has more than doubled from 200,000 to 500,000 with users now reading an average of 11.5 posts per day. And BlackBerry could use BBM to offer a mobile payments service. With its strong background in secure enterprise applications, Chen is thinking about offering a version of BBM to the enterprise. Called eBBM Suites, the service would bring messaging capabilities to the enterprise with "regulator level enhanced security."