5 BBM Channels Tips & Tricks

Rundown of the top five ways to get a better BBM Channels experience
BBM Channels Tips & Tricks
By DJ Reyes on 18 Mar 2014 01:47 pm EDT

With BBM Channels now available for all BBM users on BlackBerry, iOS and Android, it would be nice to take a look at the best ways to managed your BBM Channels experience. I’m a big BBM Channels user and with an increase in channels, as well as subscribers since going multi-platform, I would like to share some tips and tricks with you to get more from your experience. Here are five tips for you.


Make use of the Favorites feature

The ability to favorite BBM Channels as been there for a while. It meant that you could be notified (in the activity section) of when your favorite BBM Channel made an update. In the latest version of BBM it brought BBM Channel notifications to the Hub. You can be notified in the Hub when someone comments on your own posts or when someone replies to a comment you have made. Notifications will also arrive in the Hub for any BBM Channel you have marked as favorite. So, if there are any BBM Channels you want to be able to see an update on straight away, mark it as favorite and you’ll be notified as soon as they add a new post.

For Android and iOS users, when a favorite channel posts an updated, you will see the notification in the Latest Activity tab within BBM Channels.

To mark channel as favorite go to your Subscribed Channels list, tap and hold the channel and then tap the Star icon.

Mark BBM Channel as Favorite


Make use of URL shorteners

If you’re a channel owner, make use of URL shorteners to make more space for you to write things. While 400 characters may be enough some of the time, there may be times you want to write that bit more and if you’re also going to include a link, using a URL shortener will save you some space. There are many free services available like Bitly, TinyURL, even Google has URL shortening service.


Use the reply feature

It’s not always apparent to people, especially new users but you can reply directly to a comment. While it isn’t a threaded system, i.e. you can't reply to a reply, you can still reply to the original comment that was replied to and all parties will be notified. So, make use of the reply feature if you want them to see it, otherwise it will go by unnoticed.

To reply to a comment, just tap the comment and then tap the arrow icon that pops up. Only first thread comments can be replied to but you can keep replying to that first thread comment to reply to comments already made and all concerned will be notified of that reply.

BBM Channels reply option  BBM Channels reply thread


Specify Chat Hours

If you’re a BBM Channel owner and you don’t mind opening up your chat, make use of the business hours feature. Always open chat is nice this means all hours of the chat you can be contacted, it may not be a big deal but I’ve experienced a time when someone has contacted me via chat while I’m asleep and because I didn’t answer straightaway was subject to unpleasantries. Others may understand that people work in different time zones but specifying hours of chat makes things clearer. I especially recommend this for any businesses.


Engage with other BBM Channelers

A BBM Channel is like a small community. You’re subscribed to channels because you like what you see or because it’s a topic, brand or business you’re interested in. Like posts if you enjoy them. Comment on them too. If you’re a BBM Channel owner, perhaps pop a question or two in your post to gain feedback.


Don’t spam

I've thrown in this one as a bonus. Too often, people just end up posting their BBM or Channel PIN on posts. We have a forum dedicated to sharing PINs with others. Please respect other BBM Channel users by not spamming. You’ll find that every week, most Channel owners hold a Channel PIN share day anyway, so make use of those times, otherwise, check out our forums and share your Channel PINs there.

There is a block/report option available to use for the times there is uncalled for behavior. It’s available for both subscribers and users alike. I’d rather not have to use it but know that the option is there for you to use. You can also block users entirely.

Now, go enjoy BBM Channels. If you’d like to follow any of Team CrackBerry you can check out our Channel PINs here. Head into the forums and share your Channel PINs too.

Reader comments

5 BBM Channels Tips & Tricks


The Spam really kills the engagement. People just seem to behave like little desperate kids... I don't mean to sound culturally insensitive, but maybe they should add geographical a filter/weighting factor that minimizes this (just look at the comments in popular public channels and you will know exactly what I mean).

Posted via CB10

With the Web channel manager you can keep your channel open to certain countries if you so desire

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry needs to pay attention to the Featured Channels section. It's very boring now because it's so rarely updated, always showing the same Featured Channels. Show me something new!

There are channels that will do features and promote interesting channels. !ChannelX is a good one

Posted via CB10

+1 you can also check out "a channel a day"

The shirt addict blueprint | BBM channel = C00122EC9

It should be a much larger selection of Channels in the "Featured"carousel that you can rotate through by pulling down on the page and releasing. I can't tell you how many times I've done that expecting the list of Channels to change.

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Yes, more categorized (category selection on channel creation is too limited), and maybe designed more like BB World presents applications: top featured scrolled on top, then category banners, trending, newly added, etc.

Is the Channels Hub notifications only for 10.2.1? I haven't gotten that to work on 10.2.

Posted via CB10

I'm not sure, but for most part you'll only get them if you've Favorited a Channel.

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

I much prefer if channel owners used full URLs instead of shortened ones, so that I can see where the link will lead me to, before I follow it.

Understandably so, but like it's not always feasible due to lack of space in some cases. The topic or content of the post should give an idea where the link leads to.

The shirt addict blueprint | BBM channel = C00122EC9

As would we all. But the 400 character limit in the message section of Channels is a tough limit for some of us. Without link shortening the message may be missed or shortened to a point where it becomes meaningless.

BBM isn't working for me. My subscribed channels don't seem to update live. And I can't unsubscribe from them either. :(

Posted via CB10

Yes you can unsubscribe, it is quite easy. Go to your "subscribed channels page", click&hold on the channel you want to unsubscribe from, the menu tab will then show up on right side of screen. Click on what should be the bottom icon, when you click and hold icon it will say "Leave Channel". Select it, it will prompt you to confirm or cancel, letting you know you will no longer be able to comment on posts until you rejoin channel. Hit ok or leave, then you will instantly see your unwanted channel icon disappear from your "Subscribed Channels" page. Done&Done!!!

Posted via CB10

I'm having the same issue. It's giving me an error message when I try to us subscribe and my updates are coming through.

Posted via CB10

Ditto here. And I kept wondering why I don't get any notification for new posts. This should probably be the default.

Would love to be able to choose a different notification tone for updates to favorite channels and comments.

I also agree that the Featured channels need to be updated way move often. I think mine have been the same for a month now.

It would also be nice to have the featured channels chosen based on similar channels that I have already subscribed to.

C0015B221 All about making Wine kits.

Nice tips, some already being used. I'd like to see more engagement from subscribers.

The shirt addict blueprint | BBM channel = C00122EC9

BBM channels sucks. I hate it. Only the admin can photos photos. For me it's a waste of time.
If you want to post something you have to email the admin then he will post it.

Well I find bbm groups better.

Anyone thinks the same ?

Posted via CB10

I think Channels are great, and I spend most of my browse time there now along with Twitter. I have a private Family only Channel that I would like to post pictures from family events to Share with everybody. I would also like to enable other family members to post as well, so it can be a true family sharing site that is totally private and collaborative. So, that would be my suggestion for the next update, give the Channel owner the ability to give certain members the ability to post on the Channel. I think that might make it more useful in the corporate seeing as we'll.

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To me I think it would be nice for followers to be able to contribute in another channel by sharing contents. I think this is why reddit is becoming increasingly popular.

I think channels is pretty useless. There's no content for someone to resist leaving. I could only see this being great for companies that want free marketing and have good new ideas, products and services to propose to the mass. Or perhaps to follow an individuals daily life journey.

Posted via CB10

Reply function is pretty poor, doesn't automatically return you to the comment you have replied to rather that's you to the top of the chain!


Posted via CB10

Cool, I didn't know there was a block feature. I unsubscribed to channel because it got infected by a spammer.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

DJ, BBM Channels have become my favorite social network, I'm engaging more in BBM Channels than I do on Facebook or Twitter these days, and in the case of the Crackberry Channel it is close to have the same followers as it does in Twitter, as a Crackberry blogger what do you think it is still missing to take a big hit? Having almost the same quantity of followers I want to request to you (Crackberry) to get even with the posts for Crackberry Channel with the Twitter posts if possible.

I use BBM channels to look at updates. I never use to look at the "Updates" tab because all I saw was people's status and music updates.

Now I hide all the annoy people's updates and subbed to channels like Chive and Hockey. So, now i am constantly looking at my recent "Updates" to see anything new.

My friend (which is a girl) thought BBM Channels was stupid and boring. I added a couple channels of "cute puppies" and etc
Now she loves BBM Channels and is glued to the Updates.

That's right Instagram we have GIFs on ye... now we just need video support.

I can't subscribe to BBM channels. When I try to input my birthday it keeps defaulting to today's date. It won't let me change it. What's up with that?

Posted via CB10

Why there is no forward option for posts? I would like to share a post from a channel to someone who is not subscribed to that channel. I wish the shared post could be viewed without subscribing to the channel.

I mostly upload gif moving images to my channel. But uploading gif is hard, it failed tens of time before finally it can be successfully uploaded. I don't know why.

BlackBerry, please fix this.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB (Tiger Daddy)

I'd add learn to manage your channel updates. Don't leave a channel because it gets posted in often, and you don't like all the updates from it.

Open BBM, go to updates, tap and hold on whichever channel you want to stop getting updates from, and select hide updates at the bottom right.

Posted via CB10

Hello. Just purchased the Z10, I used Bold 900, anyway one question please, when you save a picture from a BBM channel it says: saved on the clipboard, but I don't know where to find it. Thanks

Posted via CB10

Why, after checking the updates page, then going to the subscribed channels page, do the subscribed channels still have a spark? Shouldn't it know that we've already checked the updates?

They need to simplify it. Twitter doesn't need a tips and tricks page (unless u r accessing the api)

Posted via CB10

Guys plss...I dnt knw how 2 get pips 2 subscribe to my channel...Pls any help? my channel name is "the saxified music channel" the pin is C0041f3d2...phnks in anticipation

How come people can't join my channel like other channels there is a little key by my channel seems if anyone wants to join my channel I have to invite them plz help

Posted via CB10

Thanks for the update.I have a Bbm channel and the number of my subscribers has not been encouraging.Saddened my heart especially when I see others with thousands compared to my 23,will appreciate if my channel can be popular too.