BBM for iPhone and Android updated with 'Find Friends' feature

By Adam Zeis on 5 Feb 2014 11:25 am EST
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One of the big gripes we have with cross-platform BBM is the way it handles contacts — or that it doesn't. There was never really a way to easily discover which friends and contacts are using BBM and quickly add them to your contacts. A new BBM update for iOS and Android is rolling out this week however and includes the new Find Friends feature which will fix all that. 

The feature lets you see which of your contacts are already using BBM, then quickly send them an invite. For those that don't use BBM, you can send an SMS or email invite to download the app.

The Find Friends feature will detect which contacts in your smartphone’s contact list are already using BBM, and allow you to quickly send them an invite to join your BBM contact list. For those contacts that don’t yet have BBM, you can invite them to download the app with an email or SMS invite.

We know how important it is for you to connect with your closest friends, family and colleagues. With this update, we’ve made it easier to find and invite them quickly and easily. You’re always in control of your contact lists.

The update is rolling out this week starting today, so it should be showing up soon for Android and iOS users. There is still plenty to come in BBM 2.0 as well in the weeks and months ahead.

Reader comments

BBM for iPhone and Android updated with 'Find Friends' feature

132 Comments

He's trying to earn an I'm a special boy sticker with the first or second posts. Ignore the boy who should be standing in the corner.

Posted with my Z10

What's unclear? One for android one for iOS. Always nice to see the platforms supported at the same time

Posted via CB10

I assume it knows via email, and other social platforms that people have their BBM info in, like Facebook. In my 'suggested' BBM contacts list their are tons of people I only have contact with through facebook, and or email.

Posted via CB10

Everyone on BBM has a BlackBerry ID, which is an email address. If you have a contact with the same email address in your address book, it will suggest that person as a contact.

Pretty sure it does, at least with emails, Facebook contacts, etc. In BBM Invites, I have dozens of suggested BBM contacts, mist if which I don't have phone numbers for.

Posted via CB10

Not for me.... only Facebook contacts with BBM are in my Suggested list. Hundreds of other Facebook contacts are not in the suggested list.

Posted via CB10

It would be Facebook contacts who have the same email registered as a BBID. I discovered a fair number that way who used to have BBM but have since switched to another platform (and haven't gotten BBM again since it went cross-platform). They'll still show up on the Suggestions because their BBID is technically still active. But other Facebook friends who have never had a BBID shouldn't show up.

BlackBerry owners already have this ability! Check it out under the invite tab in bbm "suggested"

Posted via CB10 on my  Q10

Not true! Suggestions tab only shows FB contacts that don't even have BBM and even if they do, it send them an invite through Email.

Posted via CB10

My Suggested list ONLY has Facebook people listed with BBM....Hundreds of others without BBM are not listed.

Posted via CB10

You're friends must have their bbm pin listed on their profiles and it will work. Everyone i know that has BB10 has this function for bbm.

Posted via CB10 on my  Q10

I don't know if this is accurate because I have people in my suggested BBM contact that I know aren't on facebook.
Also I'm not on facebook and never have been.

Posted via CB10

Totally didn't know this, just checked and yep worked like a charm. FB and linkedin contacts.

Posted via CB10

Thanks for the reminder!

...not sure how that list is populated, but it has folks that I KNOW left BlackBerry already :(

It's there, I found that I have 150 contacts suggested.. never thought that many people got bbm! Wow would have loved an invite all option tho..

Posted via CB10 on my Z10STL100-1/10.2.1.1055

The Inside BlackBerry blog's post left it sounding pretty ambiguous, which I assumed meant that it was a separate update at least a couple of weeks away. The wording here seems to agree.

Honest mistake, and not as obvious as it seems for some. At first I was thinking the same until I did a quick look for any mention of the rollout occurring this week (not likely).

Posted via CB10

This update tells me we won't see 2.0 for iOS/Android for at least a few more weeks. I hope we will see it before the end of February but I'm not holding my breath.

it's painful as more and more people are just giving up on bbm and moving back over to whatsapp and other messengers. it's gonna be hard to convince people each and every time to keep running back to bbm. they need to get it done quickly and get it done right so it starts to stick

Nice feature. It's all coming together slowly but surely!

Posted using the best phone ever, the white Z10!

Perhaps you need to make some more friends, because it works for me. I have a couple of Facebook friends and a couple of contacts that I just have an email for that appear in the suggested list.

Now, keep in mind, just because they have a BB10, doesn't mean they still use bbm. But of they used to use it, and don't know that it's available on their new phones, they will probably come back if you send an invite.

Posted via CB10

I'm not gonna reply on your fucked up suggestion of yours because people like you are lifeless but like I said before, there are lots of people in the suggestion tab BUT when I inviteone of them, they get an invite through Email Telling them to download BBM to add me so yeah.

Posted via CB10

You replying and saying you won't reply, is a reply. And you need to relax. That is all.

Posted via CB10

Adam...maybe an article showing BlackBerry users how to do this would be helpful? Seems like many don't know about it...the Suggested contact list, under BBM Invites.

Posted via CB10

For BlackBerry BBM users
To find the 'suggested contacts' do the follwowing:

1. open bbm
2. click on icon in the bottom left of the screen
3. click on 'Invites'
4. look near the top of your screen, there will be 3 tabs; Received, Sent, and Suggested
5. click on Suggested

I know how it is!! I just only want whats is the difference, becouse i think this feature is the same that we have already in bb10.
But thx anayway ;-)

So when on earth is BBM 2.0 coming?
It's a week 'late' already. What does 'a few weeks' mean nowadays.??

Posted via CB10

They said on CES 2014 "a couple of weeks", i thought the next update would be 2.0, doesn´t look that... so sad!!!

Funny because the guy who said it, Alex Kinsella, doesn't work for BlackBerry anymore. The irony.

#PoweredByBlackBerry

I don't understand how people don't know about suggested contacts in BBM. It's has been a feature for a long time now SMH

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

Still it's not that hard to find. Its not like BBM has hundreds of menus that would make it difficult to find. People need to start doing some exploring on their phones before posting numerous of comments on CB about something that already exists.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

I agree, but it's surprising how many people miss out on great features of their device simply because it doesn't jump out and slap them in the face. If they're trying to grow BBM as fast as possible, this is one feature that SHOULD jump out and slap people in the face.

Posted via CB10

Agreed. When I first installed Whatsapp (deleted now, BBM>Whatsapp) the suggested contacts were right in my face; no need to find anything. As it should be.

There are only 6 menu options on BBM and if you click on suggested it slaps you right in the face. I don't know how much easier it can get lol. It's not like it's in the settings menu

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

But if you hit that left menu button and see 0 New Invites under the Invites option, what would motivate someone to select it where they would see suggested contacts? I think, when you choose Invite To BBM from the menu button on the right hand side, suggested contacts should be a category on the drop down menu as well as be where it is right now. Give users every opportunity to see suggested contacts.

Posted via CB10

What should motivate you is where it say SUGGESTED!It's only 1 click away lol. I know with my devices I thoroughly go through everything so I can take advantage of all the features.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

may be this year, luckily!! I´m from Spain and now is pushing so much an app called Telegram, which is similar to whatsapp but it said to be more secure, so... BBM hurry up or you will always be late..!!

The problem with BBM on iphones is the text size more than this issue. Iphones are tiny little devices with tiny little screens that use bubble messages that the user can control the text size. (not sure of how to exactly describe it) Anyhow the 40 and over crowd cannot read their BBM messages because they cannot enlarge the text, so they won't use it. I see this first hand all the time. BlackBerry needs to put text size controls and soon!

Posted via CB10

You right, my brother uninstall the BBM just for that, they don´t have almost space for to read the conversation

i think bbm needs to give up on having the uniform look across platforms and focus on building great native experiences for blackberry, android and ios. too many people are being turned off because of things that seem to be just "standard" in other messengers that are missing from bbm

Whut?...what did they delay?

and it's all about google hangouts now? lol well dang you must be the ambassador of all consumers.

You right, my brother uninstall the BBM just for that, they don´t have almost space for to read the conversation

I had some iOS users uninstalling for this reason.

I later realized that they didn't know that they could make the keyboard go away by tapping the conversation area.

Was hilarious but once they realized they could do that it was less of an issue.

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I actually used this feature recently on my Z10. Under suggested invites. Now have a lot more contacts and connected with a lot of friends. Even found someone I had lost contact with years ago. It's a powerful feature that's not so obvious. A little article should help spread the word.

The shirt addict blueprint | BBM channel = C00122EC9

When I look in the suggested contacts, it gives me people who had bbm that don't use it anymore. By anymore they had blackberries and moved to android and never downloaded bbm

Posted via CB10

Wow I had no idea BBM had suggested contact feature. I think it should be a little more prominent like asking you to add suggested contacts right from the home screen by default.

I can finally add some people who might actually be using BBM!

Posted via CB10

Agreed. The fact that so many people on this thread were unaware that a similar (if flawed) feature already exists on BB10 indicates that BBM's UI isn't sufficiently intuitive. BlackBerry take note; this is seriously limiting platform uptake.

Z10 STL100-1 (10.2.1.537) and PlayBook (2.1.0.1753)

Isn't it funny how people ask the same question over and over.. or make the same comments over and over.. read before you post people. Did someone make this comment already?? lol

This is good, because it was a glaring area of weakness for cross-platform BBM, the ease of finding people to add from contacts.

It's always been easy for apps which use an email address or phone number as a messaging identity, but those entail privacy invasions that can never be undone. (Why would anyone want to reveal their personal phone number to some stranger they don't know well?)

Hopefully this gives BBM both "discoverability" and privacy, which would give it a distinct leg up on the competition.

Já temos isso no BlackBerry. Pelo menos no meu z10 sempre teve. Isso só é novo para ios e android.

Posted via awesome BlackBerry Z10!

I was thinking the same. You're right on that one, Sparky.

First, where is the button to deactivate, and why is it doing it as default setting?

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

That's what I hate about Whatsapp that other people wanted to contact you thats why I also quite Whatsapp some privacy. Damn Blackberry

Unfortunately, the masses are asking for it, and BBRY has responded in WhatsApp manner.

Most would not find the setting to enable, and miss out and be aggro, because they can't get contact suggestions. That's Android and iPhone users.

Let's lean back as powerusers, rely on our ability to find the button, and simply turn it off.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

At least in BBM you still choose whether to accept of ignore the request. WhatsApp just assume you want to make friends with the world.

Posted via CB10

It's pretty funny some folks on here didn't know about the suggestion. What should also be added in this update or BBM 2.0 in general is graying out BBM contacts that aren't on BBM anymore. That are already in your contact list. This way our BBM contact list stays up to date, at all times and we could delete those that went to other platforms. It should also be able to do the opposite but that's just me thinking out loud.

I also hate the fact my BBM hasn't worked right since 10.2.1. I can't see quick reply on my top screen anymore from my leak version to the official 10.2.1 version. I thought that would've changed but sadly it hasn't. I have to stop what I'm doing to go into my HUB which SUCKS! Kinda miss 10. 2 just for that option again. Hopefully this will change come BBM 2.0

That's my two cents and I'm team BlackBerry for life, as my Z10 is a beast but it could be godly like if all the options worked right out the gate.

Posted via CB10

Hope everyone in ios and android enjoy this "new" feature. It was already available for bb10. It's really useful!

Posted via awesome BlackBerry Z10!

Weird. My gf iphone under suggested has all her contacts. And most of them have never used a BlackBerry or installed bbm. I'm sure she isn't the only one.

Posted via CB10

Same here, this thing just literally grabbed every contact and made a suggestion of it. As you stated people I know for sure never even had a cellphone 'both mother and father in law'.
This is showing me even more hold off on or skip some updates.

My question is how does the app know about who is using bbm, phone number or email? I don't think phone number is linked to bbm id. Maybe email, but not so much email addresses are saved in phone contacts. But the most important thing that I care about is could this feature used in bb10 device?

Posted via CB10

Disappointed with the android update. Just gives you the ability to invite your contacts via sms or email. Does not scan your contacts and show you who is already using BBM.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

I want the show what im listening option to be available for android :( please blackberry make this posible what are you guys waiting for....

Am I the only one who's not able to BBM people on cross platforms? I can BBM BlackBerry users fine but my BBMs to Android & iOS users aren't going through. What's the deal?

Posted via CB10

i've downloaded the bbm app on my iphone, but i don't have this feature. when i go to "find friends", it shows everyone from my contacts, and the only way i can invite them is to send them an sms. how do i know which ones already have bbm?