BBM 101: How to scan a barcode

By Joseph Holder on 5 Apr 2011 12:49 pm EDT

BlackBerry Messenger is a great way to communicate, no matter the subject. With Delivered and Read notifications, you always know where you are in the conversation. By now, you've probably seen the BBM Flirt commercials. Just like in the video, it's easy to add new contacts just by scanning the BlackBerry PIN barcode. One BlackBerry will be the scanner while the other will show a barcode; it doesn't matter which you are. A new contact will be added to both phones.

Show your PIN: Get your BlackBerry ready by showing your PIN barcode. From BlackBerry Messenger, open the menu and select "Show My Profile." It's probably somewhere near the bottom. Under your actual PIN is a button marked "Show." Clicking this will show your barcode. Your phone is ready for scanning.

Scanner: Again, from BlackBerry Messenger, open the menu and select "Invite Contact." Don't be fooled by that "Scan a Group Barcode;" You want "Invite Contact." From the choices, select "Invite by scanning a PIN barcode." You'll most likely get a short animation explaining what you're about to do. Click continue to start. Just position your BlackBerry so you can see the scannee's barcode through your phone's camera. You may need to move the BlackBerry closer and further away until the camera gets a good picture.

Once the scanner has a good shot of the barcode, BlackBerry Messenger takes care of the rest. The camera shuts off and a new contact is added to BBM. The only thing left for you is to start chatting.

Reader comments

BBM 101: How to scan a barcode


Good, clear write-up. Since you named the article "How to scan a barcode" and not "how to add BBM contacts with barcodes," you should mention that this style of barcode is called a QR code, and that they are being used used increasaingly for other purposes, like for promos & contests, providing product info, or downloading an app. To scan a QR code for reasons other than inviting a BBM contact you do the following:
1. Open BlackBerry App World
2. Click MENU key
3. Select Scan a Barcode
As with inviting BBM contacts, once you line up the camera and it gets a good shot, the camera shuts off and asks for permission to open the barcode's encoded link in the Browser.

Thank you! What you wrote so clearly is exactly what I was reading the article hoping to find and didn't. Thank you for being helpful.

When you open the menu, the menu option is "View My Profile", not "Show My Profile". At least on my version of bbm (

I see that you pointed out in the video that you don't want to use the group barcode option. I just wanted to say that I just added a friend to BBM yesterday and she clicked on the group barcode option and everything still worked just fine. It was easier for her to find because you don't even have to hit the BB menu key to get to it, just scroll down and click on it.

I like this feature but i have yet to use it in a real life scenario.
Every time I meet a fellow BB friend they have no clue about or how to work the QR (or barcode)
so it actually takes longer to explain and show then rather then them just reciting it to me lol

I love this feature, so hopefully more people will read this and learn up and be more up-to-date with this kinda stuff lol