BlackBerry Messenger fights to stay alive with cross-platform video calls

BlackBerry Messenger fights to stay alive with cross-platform video calls
What does the future of BlackBerry's business look like? CEO John Chen would sure like to believe the company will keep on making smartphone hardware, but even with plans for two new models on the horizon for later this year, long-term prospects are anything but certain. Maybe software and services will help keep the firm afloat, and today we see the latest effort to spice up those offerings, as BlackBerry brings video-call support to BBM on Android and iOS.

We've certainly seen renewed interest this year in getting more folks using BlackBerry Messenger, like last month when a bunch of premium BBM features went free-to-use. Now BlackBerry's bringing the BBM video support that had once been BlackBerry-10-exclusive to additional platforms.

Mind you, this feature is still in its beta phase, and availability is quite limited. For the time being, Android and iOS BBM video-call support is only available to users in North America, but that won't be the case for long; BlackBerry's already confirmed that global access is set to open sometime this July.

BBM's video interface grows out of its existing voice-call support, allowing users to choose just how they want to interact with a caller when opening a session.

While this is nice feature to see BBM pick up, is it a matter of too little, too late? After all, it seems like every messaging app under the sun has recently added video support, and even software like Snapchat is maturing into a viable communication tool. Video-call support may not hurt BBM, but is it enough of a hook at this point to keep the service afloat? We may be about to find out.

source: BlackBerry via Engadget

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