BlackBerry monetizes BBM, now with more than 1.1 million Channels

Matthew Talbot, Senior VP of Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, said on Tuesday that its messaging app BBM now has more than 1.1 million Channels. With all of those discussion groups, BlackBerry says that it is time to monetize the messaging app. Now "uniquely positioned to capitalize on a mobile messaging market," you will see sponsors for everything from your posts to BBM stickers and invites. With over 91 million BBM subscribers, that is a pretty large number of people for advertisers to access. With BBM now multi-platform, advertisers can reach users of iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry at one time.

The Canadian company has agreements in place to bring ads and promos to your BBM feed. The ads blend in with your updates, not interfering with your chat experience. BlackBerry has been looking to monetize BBM for some time, especially Channels. The idea was for BlackBerry to find corporations willing to sponsor discussion groups. This is now in place as Channels users are "connected with brands and businesses." Even with all of this advertising being done on an application where users share information about each other, BlackBerry will not allow any identifiable information to be seen by advertisers.

So what is BlackBerry's game here? Certainly making money from BBM is positive for the company. But there could be a plan in action that involves spiffing up BBM, and making it shine like a diamond so that BlackBerry could eventually sell it off. On the other hand, Talbot talks about a future where the messaging app is used to "engage with the mobile ecosystem." Whether BBM is used as a way to get a steady flow of advertisers' dollars, or is sold to another company for big bucks, it will now be an important source of money for the company, helping it survive those tough times when handset sales are slow.

source: BlackBerry via MobileSyrup

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