BBM will take a non-traditional approach to advertising, here's how it will work

By Bla1ze on 4 Mar 2014 06:35 pm EST

When we posted about ads making their way to BBM, we expected some concern from folks in how they all would work, whether or not you could opt out of them and many other questions. 

Rather than leaving all those questions unanswered, as part of the BBM Product Marketing, Jeff Gadway has now laid out some further details of it all on the Inside BlackBerry Blog.

BBM advertising will essentially work in three ways in but and you can take comfort in knowing right now, that they'll never appear within chats.

1. Featured Placements

BBM Channel owners will have the ability to secure space on the Featured Channels tab to help promote their channel. As this is the landing page for BBM Channels, it is a great place for channel owners to promote their channel to millions of highly engaged and active customers.

2. Sponsored Invites

To help BBM Channel owners grow their channels, and help BBM Channels users find relevant, interesting channels, we’re offering channel owners the ability to invite BBM users to join their channel.

By defining certain characteristics like age, location and interests, channel owners can ‘invite’ select BBM users to join their channel. These invites will appear in the invites tab of BBM, clearly marked as sponsored invites. As with invites from contacts, BBM users will have the control to accept the invite from the channel owner (subscribing them to that channel) or decline the invite.

If a BBM user declines an invite they will not receive invites from that channel in the future. BBM will be tightly controlling the number of sponsored invites a given BBM user will receive. We anticipate that we will limit these to a maximum of three per month. We will also control which brands/businesses are able to utilize Sponsored Invites; we want our ecosystem to be populated with high-value content that our users will find engaging.

3. Sponsored Posts

Within the Updates tab in BBM, we will allow BBM Channel owners to place sponsored posts alongside updates from your BBM Contacts and the BBM Channels you are already subscribed to. In the spirit of being open and transparent, these sponsored posts will be clearly labeled.

Just as we give BBM users control over their privacy and contact list, we’re extending this control to which channel owners are able to present sponsored content in your updates feed. Allow me to explain. Let’s say you’re a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and you are presented with a sponsored update from a competing hockey team. You can easily block future sponsored updates from this other team. The benefit to you, the user is clear – you won’t see sponsored updates from channels you’re not interested in. But the benefit also extends to channel owners as well as they won’t be wasting time and resources reaching uninterested BBM users.

One of the pieces of feedback we’ve heard from our customers is that they are looking for new ways to find interesting, relevant content in BBM Channels. Sponsored posts and Sponsored Invites are another way to help highlight posts from channels that customers might be interested in.

We will dynamically determine how frequently Sponsored Posts appear in the Updates feed. We know that some of you love the “social” aspect of Updates, and would love to hear from you as to how often and where Sponsored Posts should be presented. And, because BBM puts you in control, if you filter Updates to only show Contacts, you won’t see any Sponsored Posts.

So those are the three ways in which ads will be implemented within BBM. Now, when it comes to privacy, that has been addressed as well through the posting. As noted, "At no time is personally identifiable information about any BBM Channel user viewable by any channel owners or advertisers." which is a good thing to hear.

Honestly, I'm all for the advertising but maybe that's just me. I find the notion of having brands reaching out to me for attention on their channel intriguing and I'm rather interested to see who will be making use of it and who might appear that I might not even have found if not for their sponsored invite. I've actually avoided a lot of 'brand' channels for this reason alone. We've all known that ads would be coming so I genuinely want to see who organically reaches out to me.

At the same time, I can understand some of the concerns addressed in the comments after we posted that ads would soon be coming. For some, BBM is like a sacred zone and shouldn't be used in such a way but again, the monetization of BBM had to happen at some point and this is one way BBM is going to try and make that work.

So, now that's all a bit more clearer and laid out, how do you all feel about it? Let us know in the comments. Curious to see if anyone who didn't like the idea before now has a better outlook on it.

Topics: BBM Apps

Reader comments

BBM will take a non-traditional approach to advertising, here's how it will work


With the added features BBM now seems very cluttered. There is value to having an app be as simple as possible. I understand that BBM needs to make money but Blackberry should not rush into all these monetization features until it grows the userbase. Too many features this early into the cross-platform BBM release can annoy a lot of users.

In this day and age its easy to add features but it's harder to decide what to leave out.

Play Starcraft? Join our Channel: C001242DE

Just remember that can't make everyone happy. Not everybody is like you. I actually love the BBM a lot seem Channels was introduced. Nothing like waking up in the morning and quickly catching up on stream of channel updates while enjoying my coffee. Heavenly.

Yeap, i'm just like you. Catching up the most trending news in Channel while sipping coffee for 15 to 30 minutes and then start working.

If your on the clock and sipping coffee for 30 minutes before starting to do your job, you should be fired. As soon as your butt is in the chair you are supposed to be productive, not taking a siesta.

Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.

Purely from an economic standpoint, I am pleased that BB has now revealing how BBM will become a profit center.

No technical product, such as BBM, can exist into the future unless it has a direct or indirect way to raise funds to maintain bandwidth and support resources.

Ya can't give away the 'stuff' forever free without income.

I agree, but wouldn't it be nice the people who have supported BlackBerry by purchasing a BlackBerry device won't be treated the same as the others who download a free app?

I think BlackBerry device owners should not be subjected to any "sponsored" ads or extremely limited.

So this would be another unique feature of being a BlackBerry owner.

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

You have a good point. If BB gives away the store, yet charges BB phone owners, this is indeed an unfair deal.

This should be a thread in the forums. I for one agree with owners shouldn't be subjected to sponsored ads

BBM could data mine and turn it's users into product to be harvested and exploited. At least the approach BlackBerry is proposing seems moderately useful and beneficial to its users as the client instead of viewing them as product.

Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.

OK, so that's a way for them to make money. How do I make money? Where are my gains?

Visit GTR Lifestyle @ [URL="bbmc:C001247FA"]C001247FA[/URL]

Well, if you are a shareholder, I'm sure you can figure that one out. If you aren't, I'm not sure what gains you generally expect from an app..

Join the Cause @ BlackBerry Bootleg Marketing Channel - C003483F4

I think Channels should be able to re-post to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as a way to get more people to try it as a their main Social Media manager on their phones IMO. Add filter functions, allow video posts, etc...

Posted via CB10

He doesn't know, he is just thinks that the way he thinks is the way everyone does.

Posted from my Red Zed

I can't wait for BBM Money.

They should do something like the banks do with transactions fees: If you have a certain minimum balance, they waive transactions fees.

For example, if you have a minimum of $20 in BBM money, no ads for you...and they collect money off the interest. Lol

Posted via CB10

Your idea of "BBM Money" is an interesting concept that I have long though was necessary to 'reward' BB phone owners:

In effect, if you own a BB phone, and pay a required monthly BB contact, then you should have BBM options to remove 'stuff', like ads.

In addition, folk under BB paid contract, should have free add-ons, that are only available to other's who pay for these add-ons.

By contrast, free boarders, like iPhone, Android and Windows users of BBM, who don't pay BB contracts, should have limited ability to remove unwanted ads.

I agree, where is the "reward" if I give my hard earned money to BlackBerry instead of the other guys! Or would BlackBerry device automatically fall into the eBBM? Hmmmmm.

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

The 'reward' is for BB (the company):
They get it both ways- from the advertisers and the BB phone owner monthly contracts.

Blackberry must in some way re-build, currently dying, BB phone sales.
Only premiums (like extra BBM 'services') on the BB phones will bring these sales.

Your reward is using a BlackBerry device...

I, for one, am perfectly ok with the way they are choosing to monetise BBM. It'll be far less annoying than Facebook, for example.

Posted via CB10

It's seems insignificant, but how much revenue would they get from 3 ads per month.

Multiply by 85 million people this could be a solid revenue stream.

Posted via CB10

I honestly think this is an awesome way to administer this. And being a BlackBerry owner I'll probably only ever see the channel ads anyway. Sweet.

Z30 unleashed

It all sounds pretty damn reasonable to me! Let's get some revenue rolling!

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

The amount of data is probably less than 5 lines of a bbm message. And if you're really worried about data use a data monitor like fire chest data usage.

Posted via CB10

What's forced. You don't have to use channels. Maybe you should read Jeff Gadway's explanation again.

As long as they remember that the best way to monetize BBM is by selling a phone with it built in. And since I already paid them that way, well, I'd rather not have ads.

Posted via CB10

I thought it was coming to the other platforms first?
Although if it is to make money it should be every platform

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

There you go. Make BlackBerry users of BBM free from advertisements. Oh, and make the iphone users see more ads than the Android users...well just because!

Posted via CB10

+1. Haha. iPhone users like to see what's treading anyways, that's how they decided to buy an iPhone (a select numbers of iPhone users)

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

Don't you have a TV set which you paid for too? Don't you see ads on it? When you go to Movie Theatres, don't they show ads before the movies begin? Let's be realistic, BlackBerry has to start making money again so we all can continue to enjoy our BlackBerry experiences.

When I watch network programming that's included with my cable subscription, yes, I expect to see ads. When I watch HBO, a premium network that I paid extra for, then no, I don't. BBM is one of the reasons I stuck with BlackBerry, and while I think it's great to reconnect with others thanks to the service going multi-platform, it's not my fault that BlackBerry is struggling. I'm not part of the problem. I gave BlackBerry my money already, and I'll do so again, as long as they don't ruin the experience. After all, I could go to any phone now and get BBM with ads.

Posted via CB10

Honestly even if it was a bit intrusive.....i am all about blackberry making money in each division....QNX...BBM....Devices and BES......until blackberry is breaking even and later generate positive cash flow......the perception of blackberry will change and John Chen said this : Until BlackBerry is cash flow positive we cannot win the heart of consumer if they think blackberry is not going to exist in a couple of years if they are hearing this all over the place. I said this from time doesn't matter how much money goes into marketing and how awesome blackberry devices are until the perception of blackberry changes in the eye of consumers blackberry won't go anywhere in the consumer space.....

Posted via CB10

I don't mind advertisement either. May be Blackberry can give this option to users. In addition to the above three ways, Blackberry could give options to users if they would like to see any relevant ads which could be controlled from BBM settings.

It would be great to receive targeted and relevant invites because there might be a lot of great companies and products that I'm not aware of.

Posted via CB10 on Z10

Absolutely, a few invites are sort of nice. Qwerty and Cool is BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

The way you describe it sounds pretty good actually. Won't bother me too much and blackberry gets cash. Suits me

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

I do like the amount of transparency John Chen is doing. Watch the investor perception slowly change with more of this.

Posted via CB10

What I am missing is the mentioning of an "Opt Out"?

I hope I am missing something, but if I do not use Channels or maybe not even BBM, I would still get sponsored invites (spam) every now and then in my Hub? So with this basically every BB10 device just became an "ad sponsored" device with no way to opt out and no added value for the customer?

And even if those invites don't make it into the Hub, if I am an infrequent user of BBM, the first thing I have to do every time I start BBM is to clean out the invite spam?

Not sure if you read the whole thing. But there's ways to modify to get sponsored ads that relate to you. And 3 possible spam messages per month. I get more of that in my hotmail a week. So yeah not a problem to me

Posted via CB10

Nah, you need to have Channels or BBM in order to get them. Without those, there's nowhere to send them. They can't just send to the Hub directly in any case.

Yeah, but I think like 99% of all BB10 users will have their BBM set up even if they never use it. And after that there is no way back other then wiping the phone.

I hope they keep all the ad related stuff contained within the BBM app and out of the Hub and notifications or they will devalue the whole BB10 platform.

I think a good comparison is how apps were posting ads into the notification tray on Android. Even if it was only 3 a month people would be p****.

Lol!! You are not making sense. I suggest that you slowly read Bla 1ze's response above plus view the link.

If you don't use bbm don't have it in the hub. I'm not seeing your point?

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

I'm totally with pfluger on this. And people remember that he is one of the longest standing and most well known software developers for Blackberry, including on the legacy platforms.

I really really REALLY don't want crap like this spamming my Hub. EVER.

That is PRECISELY one of the kinds of things why I have been using a BlackBerry device in recent years and not subjected myself to all the intrusions and invasions of Android.

Maybe this explains why the founder of BBM left the company recently - I wouldn't be surprised if he was fed up with the intention to start pushing this angle with BBM so hard.

Yes they need to start monetizing BBM, but they are already skating on thin ice when it comes to their reputation with users - all it would take is a big slap in the face in this respect and they will lose a ton more of us who are SPECIFICALLY loyal to THIS platform because of our feeling that it DOES NOT turn us into nothing but advertising eyeballs for the company.

Is there a way to delete BBM from my Z10? I don't see an X when I press and hold to delete. I can't find an option to sign out of BBM either. Is it possible?

If so I'd like to delete it or sign out because I don't even want 1 ad notification per month let alone 3.

Posted via CB10

So BlackBerry's version of "opt out" entails me backing up, then completely wiping my phone, restoring everything but the BBM data (is that even possible?), restoring SNAP and the Android apps, re-signing into all of my accounts, blah blah blah.

In other words they never even thought about this did they?

The day this shows up in BBM is the last day it's on my GNote 3 where "opting out" means going back to the play store and simply removing the app.

Its funny is not that line about "no identifiable user information ..." the same one the Google uses and gets routinely trashed here?

I am sorry to say, Bla1ze, normally I agree with you on most points, but I have to agree with the other two posters above.

Is it a reasonable expectation for BlackBerry to expect users who do not wish to be hit with advertisements from BlackBerry to completely back up their device, wipe their device, reconfigure accounts, and reinstall apps so as to not initiate BBM?

I do not think any reasonable person thinks this is a fair trade off. Give users an opportunity to easily uninstall or deactivate BBM, then I would agree with your sentiments, Bla1ze.

I'm cool with, here's hoping it generates some revenue. I'd rather see adds than annoying channel pin spam.

Posted via CB10

The reason I love BlackBerry is because of the "non-ad" based system BlackBerry is currently dealing in... none the less, this is why I will never get an android phone or tablet "AD'S"... I think this should be a win win for users and businesses /brands alike ... in my honest opinion given user control... BlackBerry to the top...

Posted via CB10

I don't mind the sponsored ad invites if I can opt out! 3 a month is okay, much better that 3 a minute!

Can there be a value setting? I don't ever want to get any kind of male dysfunction ad on BBM! These spammers deserve to be seriously injured.

Keep moving BlackBerry!

Mary Margaret From my Z-10

I posted a thread on this as well, thought I had the scoop on you Bla1ze. Good article glad it made the front page, this is important information.

Sponsored Featured Channels: Yes.
- not invasive, clearly marked, useful for interested companies.

Sponsored Channel invites: Yes.
- not invasive, user choice (blocking future invites), big outreach for interested companies.

Sponsored posts appearing in Updates: WTF! No.
- What is the point of creating the first two options to be as non-invasive as possible, when they are going to put Sponsored posts in everyone's Status tab anyway?
Even if you can block them, they have already appeared! Makes the user-choice aspect, and the other two options worthless.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

And of course they should NOT appear in the Hub, that is the "professional space" of BB10. Allowing ads to show there would be mad and open the floodgates for other developers to push ads.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

Too bad to have featured channels as landing. BBM won't thrive this way, neither will this make any profit.

Let users promote the ads they like, and let users hand in profits willingly to BlackBerry. Facilitate and encourage creative, truthful, fun, and entertaining ads.

I think its great. Something else I think would be great is a categories search. Sometimes what you're looking for doesn't always have a name that is recognised as a part of a particular category. Some channels have quite elaborate names which does not necessarily have what they offer in it.

Posted via CB10

Bring it on ASAP. I have a feeling BBM users have already surpassed 100 million. The Gingerbread version got many users on board, although there were several complains initially about the bugs.

I'm fine with it if it stays tied to channels and there are user controls on the updates feed.

Posted via CB10

I like it! I will be providing lots of feedback to help out!

Z10 (STL 100-3) Superphone with vitamin

Absolutely reasonable and long overdue. They are running a business, not a charity.

Posted via CB10

I wonder if BlackBerry will monitor sponsored ads (e.g. Girls in legging, Booty Nation, etc) because, I'm sure a lot people don't want to see these type of sponsored ads.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry needs to make money anyway they can. If they don't well we know where that story goes!

Do what needs to be done is what I say!! $$$$$

I think BlackBerry users should not be targeted, but at the end of the day we still have the hub to save us from using the app if we are just chatting with friends!
(I stick with what I said before, but as long as there are no advertisements in BBM chats we are good.)

This is interesting. I'm curious about what the community thinks and what this will look like in real life.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Interestingly, as BBM is on Blackberry by default, that means BlackBerry users get ads three times a month, by default. Invites should really be an opt in measure.

Posted via CB10

I'm all for BBM advertising. They've worked extremely hard over the years and deserve a pay off.

Posted via CB10

Ads in my status tab ! Really !?
Remind me not to update to the next version of BBM.

Posted via CB10

LOL at anyone that is making reasons to get mad over the ads. Before Gadway's post was made people were talking all kind of crap they knew nothing about, like the placement of the "ads". Featured channels is already in place and the perfect place for something sponsored, and some people might want to engage with a brand and these "ads" will help with that. It's going to happen and you're going to get over it, go for a walk, have a beer, have sex because some of you need one of those.

Sounds like a very measured and respectful approach. I'm interested because as it is, it's not easy to find channels that I'm interested in. They should consider the same thing for apps in BlackBerry World.

Posted via CB10

Forgive the long post here, but allow me to draw out my feelings on these clarifications:

1.) Featured Placements - I really do not have much of a problem here. Granted I am biased because I am not a BBM Channels user, I do believe that if these featured placements are limited to the channels tab, this is not very intrusive. This would not adversely affect my BBM experience and may in fact achieve what BBM developers are hoping to achieve in delivering new content to BBM users.

2./3.) Sponsored Invites/Sponsored Posts - Here is the critical problem I have with both of these strategies: they both will affect my BBM experience from what I have become accustomed to. Allow me to explain. Despite sponsored invites and posts being clearly marked, I will see these in amongst invites and posts that I otherwise wish to receive. Granted these will be limited in number, they still will be mixed in with traditional invite and post notifications. My solution? Why not put in place a dedicated tab for sponsored invites and posts so they will not mix with other invites and the like? Yes, this will reduce visibility, but will still allow for advertisers to get their message out without adversely affecting anyone's BBM experience. This essentially comes down to a question of how far BlackBerry wishes to implement advertisements into the BBM experience.

To me this is a slippery slope for advertisers to request greater visibility in BBM. While updates will not show up in the Hub today, what if an advertiser comes along and offers an amount too good for BlackBerry to refuse? What if all of a sudden Hub advertising becomes an incredibly viable revenue source for BlackBerry? Will they refuse, or will they implement it? While this is not happening now, this is how such practices start. Need I remind anyone of YouTube's initial "non-intrusive" advertising promises?

You make a really good point about the HUB, let's hope that it never happens : S

In relation of the updates, remember that you can filter between contact update - Channel update - All updated so if you regularly don't follow any channel just stick with the contacts update

In relation of the invites; is not the ideal situation; but taking in consideration that this will not interfere with the interaction with your contacts, I thinks is a situation that we will be able to live with it

Posted via CB10

Agree with most of your points. Unfortunately a "separate" area for ads would never work. The whole idea behind digital advertising is that you can tempt people to click on stuff they would normally ignore. So ads will always have to be visible somewhere in the areas people use a lot, or it will not be profitable.

Btw I just remembered some crappy .apk I installed actually showed some ads as notifications in the Hub. That should never happen. Ever.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

I have to agree unfortunately as a separate tab for paid advertisements does diminish the value of paid advertisements within BBM. In the end, every company seems to place business interest above customer interests, so I know in practicality this idea would not work out.

I am happy that at least you see what a mess the Hub can become when advertisements flood it. For that reason amongst others, I avoided Android like the plague. I am sad to say, but I do see BlackBerry monetizing the hub at some point in the future if BBM presents itself as a viable revenue stream. Mark my words, that will be the day I never touch another BlackBerry device again.

As long as the invites and the updates are keep on a reasonable level (3 invites per moths and maybe 3 updates per week) I like the idea; BBM is a great product, which is getting better and better; so I think is fair that they make a profit from it; which I asume will promote even more improve and goodies for all user

One thing though; why not also offer a paid version of BBM, without add? Whatsapp does it, and it seems to work for them

Posted via CB10

I'm relatively new to BlackBerry having picked up my Z30 late last year. I also own Android devices (tablet, phone), Windows (laptop) and iOS (iPod, Air). One of the reasons I switched to BlackBerry was to avoid Google data mining and advertising.

I'm now a great fan of BB10 and want BlackBerry and the platform to survive as much as anyone else. I have also used BBM voice and video when traveling and have been extremely impressed (also made my first Android to BB10 voice call yesterday and was pleasantly surprised again!) with the quality and reliability. So yes, I want BBM to survive. For that reason I'd be happy to pay a subscription for ad free BBM and likely a lot more than the dollar per year that others have mentioned.

On the other hand, if ads come, I'm not sure my next phone would be a BlackBerry. Perhaps more importantly, I think that ads on a service that aspires to become an enterprise messaging platform (eBBM?) is sending mixed messages. If anyone at BlackBerry is listening my advice would be simple - give us choice and make money in the process. Paid subscription for ad free BBM, and ads for those that want to save the money and/or don't object to receiving them. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Posted via CB10

1. I hate social media.
2. I hate channels as much as I hate social media.
3. I have 2 contacts in my BBM.

In conclusion: Meh...

Posted via CB10

You should make a poll :

A) I think is fair and is not a big deal
B) this is the worst that they could do, I'm switching to other messaging app
C) I have to wait and see

Posted via CB10

These ads arnt intrusive, but they should implement an opt out option. For $1 you should be able to opt out of all ads for a year, that would be on par with whatsapp.

Posted via CB10

In addition to my other thoughts above, I had another revelation. Will BlackBerry be using enabled location services within BBM that allow Glympse to work for advertising purposes?

Allow me to elaborate. Suppose I usually walk down a particular street in my neighbourhood on a frequent basis with my Z10 on me, my BBM location services on to allow Glympse to work. On this street there are some big box store businesses and other retail outlets. Will this be used to help "market" paid advertisements to me on BBM? Will my location based services be given as the "non identifying data" to potential ad purchasers to sell me ads? Yes, I do understand that targeted advertising can be turned off in the settings, but will BBM be different in this respect?

To me the addition of Glympse to BBM and now the sudden push for advertisements all within the same time frame do not appear to be merely coincidental.

I can only hope BlackBerry does not go down this road similar to what Apple has done.

As I said, I know targeted ads and location services can be turned off in the settings, but I ask, is this a fair trade off to essentially cripple a very decent feature of BBM so as to avoid targeted advertising? Why is BlackBerry moving toward the direction of Android's mass ads and Apple's location based advertising so hard? Not having either of those things is what drew me to BlackBerry in the first place.

As with most things in the tech world there is always a trade off, but why something this large? I know this has not been confirmed yet, but I see no reason why they will not move toward this (if it isn't in the plans already). If this does become a reality, I can say without a shadow of a doubt BBM will no longer be my IM client of choice and BlackBerry will probably not be my next brand of choice either.

As a consumer, the only power we truly have is with our money, so I suppose that is the only power I will exercise.

BlackBerry has been quite good at listening to user feedback and implementing changes (ex: increasing the file size limit in BBM). I think the sooner they start monetizing BBM the better. I say lets get this thing started and evolve from there.

If we look at social media platforms like FB and Twitter (which both have sponsored ads) they look much different today than when they first implemented monetizing strategies. I prefer a free twitter service with the odd (barley noticed) sponsored tweet vs paying to join. I know for a fact if they charged a fee to join I would to this day not be a Twitter user.

Their is another option. BlackBerry could sit back and do nothing and a year or two from now we could all be saying how BlackBerry missed the boat again and should have started monetizing BBM when they launched channels instead of letting other messaging services catch up and beat them to the punch.

I'm fine with Channels having linked advertising because that was always anticipated as a heavily commercial component of BBM.

I'm NOT fine with advertising spamming my "Updates" feed, requiring me to "Opt Out" every time I get spammed with something when I'm trying to see what my favorite people or groups are doing.

Users should be able to turn that off if they want.

Nope. Still not a fan of any spam/ads for BBM users on a BlackBerry device. Regardless of whether they're telling the truth when they say they're not gathering any personal info or not, stay the frack outta my BlackBerry!! *thumbs down*

Blaze! Your best article yet! Strong research well placed enthusiasm and small personal.choice input that is directly relevant. Of course this article topic had your name all over it before typing a single word but it's still well executed.

Looking forward to more challenging articles you posy in the future.

Personally I LOVE the limitations and controls BlackBerry is implementing with these ads in BBM. I'd so far as to go a step further to say their more thought out than what Apple could come up with.

Bring it home BlackBerry bring it home.

BlackBerry Q10  & Full Metal CB10!

I am not sure what people consider spam, but if 3 sponsored invites a month ( avg of 1 every 10 days) is blowing up their BBM it doesn't appear they are getting many invites.

And who knows maybe just maybe these will be Channels we are interested in. My guess is they will do their best to make sure the request aligns with our current Channel interests.

Think of all the subscribers to "Sexy Girls In Yoga Pants" who are unaware of Kevin's "Sexy Guys in Yoga Shorts" channel. What an excellent opportunity to reach out :-P

I would feel more fair if there's more ads on the other platforms than ours since we are the loyal ones

Posted via CB10

This sounds pretty cool to me, but I hope there's an opt-out option for anyone who just doesn't want to be bothered.

Posted via CB10

Ads should only appear in the Channels tab, nothing should be in the updates or invites tabs. I really can't believe they're planning on doing this. Keep the original BBM as it was and monetize Channels, eBBM, and BBM Protect. Also if you pay for eBBM you should not be subjected to ads.


Good post for BlackBerry. We had heard that they were planning on monetizing xbbm, channels specifically, and this is how. I personally didn't think it would be for awhile, so this seems like progress and quick decision making. I'm happy for them and it seems like yet again I'm crediting Chen.

We've got a good description of what the ad framework will look like, but before the criticism can we first see how it's actually implemented? Maybe it won't be intrusive whatsoever, and by the sound of it, it won't be. I'm sure they'll tailor it as it moves forward to best work without pissing too many people off.

This is good news people! Positive revenue news for a company that's had the opposite for too long. I've seen a 100% reliability increase in xbbm since the latest update, and now that the service seems stable I'm excited to watch it grow!

Posted via CB10

If BlackBerry want to increase discoverability for their channel owners, they need to improve the searching and browsing of channels, not accept money to shove them into people's faces; Just the little difference of having sponsored, and even analytically personalised, suggestions, come up in a highlighted (EDIT: ...yet easily ignorable) section of their own, when a user is looking around, instead of actively pushing it on them, is passive-ish enough to make it come across as a positive service, rather than spam. It still needs to be clearly lablelled as advertising, of course; Honesty first.

Active, unsolicited advertising will only ever net you a backlash.

The big problem is what this whole thing does to BBM's image; Given the overall company focus, they need to come across as solid, reliable, independent and trustworthy; "Immutable", the way your grand-grand-parents used to look at institutions like government organs and banks and so on -- Any advertising severely cheapens that image and, at the very least as an impression, puts them on the same low level as competitors, and this at a sensitive time, when they are trying to expand into new areas, where recent joinees are already reluctant, having often even signed up only because of, as they see it, "badgering" from one or two of their friends.

Some are calling for Opt-Out, but that is not enough; These sort of things should always be Opt-In and easily reversible -- If you want people to use them; Then first show them how it benefits them, you need to sell the concept, not force it -- if the customer can see that they gain something and more importantly, if it is their own choice; That makes all the difference in the world. (If you wish, you could reference the image that the digital distribution service: "Steam" has among computer gamers, next to their competitiors, even with Steam at its heart essentially being a mandatory DRM service for many titles.)

We can see what we like about ads guys, but if all this ad stuff is so fatal, I'm not sure why Facebook is still around.

Join the Cause @ BlackBerry Bootleg Marketing Channel - C003483F4

Incumbent social lock-in. Most people, at this point, seem to be using Facebook rather grudgingly, feeling they "have to", because that's where all their friends and relatives are - it is also how quite a few were drawn in.

People have a tendency to adapt to living under any sort of oppressive regime, if society mostly functions, and the task of uniting to overthrow it feels insurmountable.

Yet, even Facebook will fade at some point, when fickle consumers flock to the next shiny-of-the-week.

(EDIT: ...and here, before, in beween, and all along, is where I'd like to see BlackBerry come into all this; As the, perhaps somewhat "boring" and "dry", bedrock foundation service, that one can always rely on and always turn to when one really need to get something done, properly, professionally, set apart from all the transient trends.)

Amusingly, in all this; I hear Facebook have recently released a lauded new, alternative, client, for iOS devices, that offers a clean, uncluttered, and advertising-free way to experience their services.

This idea of making BBM more 'annoying' for folks who don't own a BlackBerry is absurd. Why do you want to alienate people? Three ads a month that don't even go anywhere near your conversations is not a big deal. Most people wouldn't even have noticed if BlackBerry had just gone ahead and added the function without saying anything...with the exception of the invites thing of course.

Join the Cause @ BlackBerry Bootleg Marketing Channel - C003483F4

Mmmm...yeah....the problem with BBM channels is we don't have enough ads? The focus should be to get USERS, without which sponsors will not pay!

Posted via CB10

I don't use or want BBM but cannot delete the app on my Z10. I will be seriously pissed off if i start receiving invites. I work hard all day and when my phone rings or beeps i always check it and will not be amused if i stop working to find its some pratt wasting his and my time by making me delete junk. So BlackBerry HOW do i remove BBM?

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

Hay Bla1ze great write up thanks but with out sounding like I'm shooting the messenger I disagree I don't think this is a good thing. This will annoy me to no end I already unsubscribe from all updates. And I will be deleting my channels to celebrate this new update.

I hate this and the more i think about it the more i dont like it!
Better idea how about to have a channel you have to buy it or a montly fee, then there would not be so many bad channels out there filling the space! Channels will never work if there are so many bad dormant channels filling the search results! On princible I will never join a channel that advertised to me!!!
No Thank you,
Just when i thougth BBM was on its way up!

I think random invites to a 'sponsored' channel is a bit intrusive, but that's just my opinion. The channels are fine the way they are now, in the sense that, I can search for what I'm interested in. My friends can also suggest channels that may interest me, and that's good enough.

Not a fan of this part, "By defining certain characteristics like age, location and interests, channel owners can ‘invite’ select BBM users". If I liked targeted advertising, I would be using Android.

Ads in BBM will turn many users away from the service, regardless of how much 'control' we have.

The next think, BlackBerry will start asking for paid subscriptions to use BBM.

By defining certain characteristics like age, location and interests, channel owners can ‘invite’ select BBM users to join their channel.

Ok, do I, as a user, have the abillity to choose if I want to make age, location, interests public or not ? Is this refering to the options in BBM settings ?

Unfortunately the very channels that have been keeping BBM channels feeling vibrant are the ones that will now wither and die.

It was the channel's created by regular people that were the most interesting. Now with those channels having zero change at being featured unless regular people fork over their hard earned money, they'll never really have a chance to gain a decent subscription base.

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