BlackBerry pushes out major update to BBM for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android
posted by Alan F. / Feb 13, 2014, 11:53 AM
Today is a big day for BBM users regardless of which platform they use. BBM for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android are all being updated. For iOS and Android, the update includes BBM Voice, which is already on BBM for BlackBerry 10, and will allow users to make free phone calls to other BBM users regardless of platform. After the update, BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android users will be able to share pictures, documents and voice notes with one click.
In addition, BBM for iOS and BBM for Android are both getting BBM Channels. These are basically discussion groups that users can create. Topics can include sports, hobbies, movies, television shows and more. Posting to a channel starts off a discussion and specific chat hours can be posted. BBM subscribers are alerted whenever there is a new post on a channel they follow. BlackBerry is hoping to monetize Channels by allowing companies to open a channel for a brand or specific product.
The update adds location sharing, powered by Glympse. This tool allows a BBM subscriber to share his location with specific members, for a certain period of time. This is perfect for those times when you're running late and you want those you are supposed to meet, to be able to follow your progress to the meeting place in real time. The beauty of Glympse is that you set the period of time that your location is available for others to see. Once the time you set has expired, your whereabouts become private once again.
With the update to BBM, users receive support for Dropbox. This is a cloud based storage application that allows you to send files from your personal Dropbox account to your BBM contacts, and save files from BBM to your Dropbox account. Lastly, the update adds 100 new emoticons, bringing the total number to 200. Some of the new emoticons were based on drawings submitted by BBM subscribers.
The update is available to BlackBerry 10 users from BlackBerry World, Android users from the Google Play Store, and iOS users from the App Store. Before the end of the year, BBM Video is expected to be added to the messaging app, allowing BBM subscribers to have video chats with other members.
100 new emoticons are being added to BBM with today's update
WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - February 13, 2014) - A new version of BBM™ will be available later today for Android™, iPhone and BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB) customers, giving them lots of exciting new features. Android and iPhone customers will now be able to make free voice calls to BBM contacts over a Wi-Fi® or data connection with BBM Voice(i), as well as access BBM Channels. In addition, BBM customers on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry(ii) smartphones will have more to chat about with fast one-click sharing of photos, documents, voice notes and more. BBM customers will also be able to share their live location for a specified amount of time with other BBM contacts by using location sharing, powered by Glympse, and will have 100 new emoticons available to help them say what's on their mind.
"BBM continues to deliver new functionality as a premier messaging platform that provides a simple and effective way to stay connected. Today's announcement gives Android and iPhone customers the rich experience of BBM Voice and BBM Channels - two great ways to connect with friends, family and colleagues, to build out communities around shared interests, and to follow your favorite people and brands," said John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Solutions at BlackBerry. "BBM continues to quickly evolve as a social mobile platform for consumers as well as for business customers through innovative features that give you great new ways to connect and share with each other."
BBM Channels lets customers chat with other BBM users about topics that interest them. Customers can join channels about a range of topics from products, hobbies and sports to entertainment, fashion, cars and more. Channels can be created by brands, businesses and BBM customers alike and are a great way to communicate directly and immediately with people who share common interests in the broader BBM community.
By posting to their channel, channel owners immediately reach their subscribers with a message that can spark discussions. "Scheduled chat hours" allow BBM customers to have live chats with the channel owner - a great way to engage directly with their favorite channels one on one.
BBM Channels maintains the BBM core values of immediacy, privacy and control. Because BBM Channels live right inside BBM, BBM customers get notified the moment one of the channels they follow has a new post, or when someone responds to their comments.
With BBM Channels, customers can engage with brands or other customers without having to add them to their contact lists, thereby maintaining a high level of privacy. With BBM Channels, customers have the discretion to opt in only to channel brands that are relevant to them and always have control over the channels they subscribe to, while channel owners have control over how subscribers interact with their channel.
For brands and businesses, BBM Channels provides a new way to interact and connect with a highly engaged and targeted mobile audience. There are thousands of brands already using BBM Channels to engage with their customers. More on BBM Channels:
Open, yet private. Channel owners control the conversation on their channels. Channel owners can choose to: allow subscribers to comment on posts freely or to approve them first; let subscribers chat with them directly anytime, or set chat hours; they can interact with subscribers without ever giving out personal details, or adding them as a personal BBM Contact. And with private channels, channel owners can keep in touch with closer circles on an invite-only basis. Channel reporting. Each channel has its own performance dashboard built right in. Channel owners can see stats on how subscribers are engaging with their channel, how many people have viewed each post and how the subscriber base is growing. It's fast and easy. Start a channel right from a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android smartphone. It only takes a few minutes to set up a BBM Channel and once it is set up, posting to it is as simple as choosing a photo and adding a short message
With location sharing powered by Glympse, customers can now share their real-time location with one or several BBM contacts for a specified amount of time - perfect for when people are running late, out with friends and more. BBM puts control in the customers' hands, allowing them to specify how long they want to share their location for, by setting a timer. When the timer runs out the customers' location becomes private again.
Built-in support for Dropbox™ makes it easy to send large files like presentations and videos. With Dropbox built in to BBM, you can send a file from your personal cloud directly to a BBM contact. On the receiving end, you can save the file directly to your smartphone or add it to your Dropbox account.
BBM customers have been asking for more emoticons, and now more than 100 new emoticons have been added to help you express yourself. Many of the new emoticons came from ideas submitted by customers!
BBM continues to connect friends, family and colleagues across a myriad of mobile networks, as the standard for mobile instant messaging with a fast, reliable, and engaging experience that puts control of privacy and personal information back in the customers' hands.
Trust me when I say this, all of my friends own an Android phone, and yet they didn't download BBM nor do they have any intentions of downloading. BBM is a fail from BB thinking that they can redeem themselves by availing it on Android and iOS. Even if it were a success, I wouldn't really care for whether its available in the WP store or not. Sure there might be some WP users who want the service, but I speak for most and its not at all an app that is missed in the WP store. Still, BB are doing a big mistake by not availing the service to 50 million potential users on WP, thinking that they can attract customers towards their platform, which is clearly not happening.
They attracted 40 million new active users from Android/iOS downloads in the first month. And it's still growing. Windows is a nice OS, but even with BlackBerry being in the state that it is on the consumer side of things, their installed base in BBM ALONE is more than Windows entire installed base. That's not including the BlackBerry users who don't use BBM. I think that making BBM cross platform was a great decision. Clearly, it's an idea that's working.
Do you know how many users Android & iOS have in combined? Somewhere north of 1.4 billion, and from those BB has been able to attract only 40 million. Thats not an achievment to be proud of. And besides, BBM's installed base across all platforms is more than BB's entire userbase including BB7 & BB10 users.
40 million is just to you. I think you should have a head check. Your little world iS not the world. Windows phone is actually very boring and yes I prefer Bb 10 by miles. With improved software hardware integration I would even prefer bb10 to ios. Take a look around amigo and you'd see that John Chen is taking so many cool steps. Why would you advocate a world with one less ecosystem. We need more ecosystems at that. Thumbs up BB I am rooting for you all the way. Presently I do not use BB. I use android which I love to pieces and ios which I look forward to dumping soonest..........
First of all, this is BlackBerry post and you like WP. You came here bashing BlackBerry first, that makes YOU the troll, NokiaFTW. Second, without the addition of Android apps, BlackBerry's app store and WP's app store is about the same. WITH the addition of Android apps, BlackBerry CRUSHES WP in apps.
Okay... So BlackBerry has a NATIVE Instagram, Path, Vine, Beats Audio, UC Browser, Subway Surfers... I can keep going on with that list. Relying on another ecosystems app store shows the failure of BB to attract native support for their platform. If this makes you proud, then CONGRATS. And one more thing, without Android apps support, the WP store CRUSHES the BB AppWorld.
UC browser SUCKS! And those apps on WP that you mentioned are still in BETA! They don't even have the functionality that their iOS and Android counterparts have! If that makes YOU proud, then CONGRATS! The app ecosystem is paltry, at best, on Windows...and let's not forget: MS is thinking of a way to use Android apps on Windows....losers...just like YOU.
I don't think you can read. They attracted 40 million iOS/Android users in ONE MONTH. It's more than that now. And while people YOU know don't use, almost all of my friends use it, with more signing on every day. That is an achievement to be proud of, since it took ONLY one month of BBM going cross platform to increase its user base by almost the same amount of Windows ENTIRE installed user base(which, by the way, took WP 4YEARS just to hit and installed base of 50 million)!!!!
Nokia users gona hate big time lol
I own a Nokia and BB10 (using Andriod and BB10 now)there is no comparison between both BB10 miles ahead of (Nokia>>with their poor outdated boring OS and apps)
BB10 had more before ... and now even much more with the new update + Android app installed directly the app gap is almost closed
Nokia is dead if it wasn't for MS money we all know that so stop hating ...BB is surviving on their own WITHOUT BEING SOLD and DOOMED like Nokia! stop trolling on nothing.
they thought Instagram is the only app matters and still doesn't work well!!! wake up Nokia fans u r far behind...in apps
BB10 has covered most of them + Android Apps
the BB10 OS is also on par with android compared the poor WP
iOS can't match it either...
Nokia is heading to Android as the rumors stated! why ? if they are really succeeding and surviving with their locked WP?
Nokia will get a major update on April which is late by then who knows what phone people are using or no one cares!
all I noticed in BB articles Nokia fans jumping in and bragging about their WP on nothing...just wake up cuz our Nokia devices are basic and nothing to brag about except the Cam and hardware that's why its selling on the mid-low end range only cuz no one cares about hardware if you don't have the software!
so stop hating other OSs (Specially BB10 ) and enjoy technology
cuz nothing stays on top.
Whatever you say, at the end of the day your OS depends on another OS's apps store due to lack of native content, while WP has enough of its own native content to survive on its own. Also, BB's marketshare is going down, while WP is growing and already outsells the iPhone in 20+ markets. Get your facts straight.
WP is also looking to use Android apps to bridge the "app gap", so what are you saying now? And Windows outsells iOS in markets that iOS doesn't truly compete in! iOS does not cater to emerging markets! WP share will no longer go up because of lack of sales, as evident by last quarters results. Get YOUR facts straight. And listen to TheM16 and stop hating on BlackBerry. You like WP and that's fine, but don't knock others for loving BlackBerry. Stop starting flame wars, that's all you do here.
My first comment was in response to AfterShocks comment about WP. I didn't intend to start any flame war or hate on BB. I respect the company. However, if anyone talks trash about WP without using it, I intend to comment. And BTW, my dad had previously owned a BB Q10. Hence, I know a bit about the platform.
And I don't wanna argue anymore about which platform has more or less apps. Neither you're fav OS nor mine have a significant presense in the market. Enjoy with your phone, while I enjoy mine.
The free phone calls portion is great for people paying prepaid on a limited minutes plan. Like Att, Virgin, Ting, Tmobile, etc... Im around wifi 95% of the time. This is a great option for those people. When I used Ting, my bill averaged $30 or less. I liked them, but I had to switch because I need a phone asap if it breaks. I cant go looking around for a sprint phone in an emergency.
But BBM on BlackBerry handsets have had this for a while now(sans the location stuff). This update brings the Android/iOS versions up to date. And Viber and others lack something that BBM has in spades...Security.
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.