BBM updated for Beta Zone users - brings sponsored posts and bigger attachments

BBM updated for Beta Zone users - brings sponsored posts and increased file  attachement size
By DJ Reyes on 5 Mar 2014 04:03 pm EST

We've been hearing a lot about how BlackBerry are looking to monetize BBM lately. We know that those who are on the Android BBM beta program have received an update which already brings the ads, which we know will never appear in chats. BlackBerry is now releasing an update to those who are currently in the limited BBM beta program. The update brings the aforementioned sponsored ads as well as seeing the file attachment size go from 6MB to 16MB.

The update is for both BlackBerry 10 users and legacy BlackBerry users who are part of the current (limited) BBM beta program. Although, the file attachment size increase is only for those on BlackBerry 10. There also looks to be some nice changes to stickers, especially for Q10/Q5 users. It was a bit awkward for them to use due to the smaller screen size but this seems to have been improved.

There are a few things you need to do to before updating and it looks as though it will be to prepare for testing out sponsored posts and invites. All these are stated in the email you will receive prompting you to update.

To update, BlackBerry 10 users can just open up the Beta Zone app and install the update, legacy users need to login to their Beta Zone account via the BlackBerry browser and update there.

Login to BlackBerry Beta Zone

Topics: BBM Apps

Reader comments

BBM updated for Beta Zone users - brings sponsored posts and bigger attachments


I just tried sending an 8MB file to a regular BBM contact (don't know anyone else in the beta), and it still gave me an "error writing file", and on their end it showed "File too large."

Posted via CB10

Just sign up on the website and you're in. This isn't available for everyone though sadly :( I'm not part of the small group

Posted with a Verizon Z30 running and CB10. [URL="bbmc:C0004F9BB"] My channel with zero subscribers [/URL]

The Zombies ... are coming!

(played a bit too much of that silly game recently)

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

Would the real Prem Watsa please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

How previous? The last couple? BBM beta has been limited the past few updates. Unless you were selected for those you won't get this one.

Posted via CB10

The last BBM update I got was the October 30th one. BBM channels

Didn't get any after...

Can you please explain it to me how do I get this update?

Posted via CB10

I seem to be having problems loading BBM Channels and seeing my stats from my Channels. I'll try a few things and see if it's still an issue though.

I am in the BBM beta program and have had a few problems installing some previous beta versions. What I have learned is that you should restart your phone after each installation. Since I have done this I have had no problems.

Didn't realize that all the stickers are free in the beta version? File size increase is a welcomed sight indeed. Still playing with it.

Z10... next Ontario!

Ya a couple of restarts and I'm good. :)
I hope this is as smooth as the last BBM beta release.

Posted via CB10. C0001FA2B @ORIGINQuest

Can you clarify that a little better in the article. Otherwise will get TONS of ppl complaining they aren't getting the update.

Heck I read the full article then checked BlackBerry Beta Zone and didn't see update so came to ask this exact question.

Thanks :)

Posted via CB10

Yep. I'm a beta member and have received bbm beta updates before. Even with word "limited " it could be clarified a bit. Many out there would likely not know what "limited beta" means.

Posted via CB10

"The update brings the aforementioned sponsored ads as well as seeing the file attachment size go from 6MB to 16MB."

How intrusive are they?
How much of the screen real estate do they take up...especially on a Q10.

Having ads is no big thing only except when they detract from the experience. I've used many free apps where the compromise were ads, some I could live with...some I could not.

Thanks for any feedback before d/l this update.

This post should answer your question on how intrusive (or not) they will be

If updates can be bigger in that version of BBM, why not make it to the general public? Don’t you think it would help BlackBerry's case if it released it's most modern features of BBM?

It certainly would not hurt.

Posted via CB10

Because it is in Beta. Do you know what the purpose of beta releases? To make sure when it is released to the masses, there aren't mass problems and complaints.

Posted with my Q10 running


What's up with this?

I have asked to have this fixed like 100 times now.

Posted via CB10

They just don't seem to care what we suggest and request for improvements. I've given up even asking / suggesting.

Posted via CB10

Sucks i cant login into my beta account. I've emailed them a numerous times with no response back. Terrible service.

 BlackBerry Z30  STA100-5/

Is it limited like BBM Chose the people eligible for this beta testing because I Can't see it in beta zone !?

Posted via CB10

I never get an email, so thanks for the heads up with this post. Stickers now don't take 3/5 of my screen!

Posted with my Q10 running

I like the BBM as it is now. I don't want/need stickers and if anyone on my list uses them I'll have questions about why they should continue to be on my list.

I'm not going to bother with this update until we see what happens.

Posted via CB10

I'm not sure why I'm even signed up for the beta program, I'm never picked for anything. Mock It and Evernote is the only apps that are available, and have been the only ones available for the longest time. Actually BBM Channels was available for a month or so.


That file transfer size better be higher then 16. From 6-16 isn't quite the leap. Make it 50 n be done with the issue already

16 is same size as whatsapp and likely chosen to prevent servers from over loading.

Posted via CB10

Ugh.. ads.. BlackBerry should just give me the option to pay to get rid of them at same time have a bigger file transfer. Better yet, just give me premium services to pay for.

Hate ads.

Posted via CB10

Hate ads except for super bowl ads. I look forward to those instead of the superbowl itself :D

Posted via CB10

Have you not read how they are implemented? It's not ads are you are used to (crappy Google ads on "free" apps). They basically suggest channels you should join every so often, supposedly based on your other channel subscriptions, and demographics.

Posted via CB10

It sure is. More reliable for me too.

Flawlessly flowed post using a SwiftKey enabled GSIII via the Android CrackBerry App!

I was afraid of just that happening. Thanks for posting, someone said in the forums that they still had theirs.

Posted via CB10

I just downloaded the beta. Still have all my contacts and channels that I subscribe to. Will try to post more afterthoughts after I've played with it.

Via my Z10 with 10.2.1 awesomeness

BetaZone SUX.......was not selected for last 3 beta releases only Mockit. Who the F*#k wants Mockit??
I have done every survey & participated in their forums but every time a "limited beta" is released I am watching my friends have fun with theirs...... BetaZone is app is taking up valuable real estate in my Z10 so it now becomes BetaZero.........

Posted via CB10

I was selected for one or two betas and now nothing except Evernote and Mockit.

It's high time the beta was for everyone who's enrolled otherwise it smacks of elitism by BlackBerry.

I haven't noticed any adds yet. Weird. Or is that only for non BlackBerry phones?

Via my Z10 with 10.2.1 awesomeness

I'm in the BBM Beta program. Where is the download of the new beta? It is not in The Downloads area...

Posted via CB10

Two questions (not guesses - looking to people that actually have the beta): are the pics in multi-person chat inline like Whatsapp (because they need to be bringing that), and is it also within groups - or only multi-person chats?

Posted via CB10

That sucks, they really need to bring inline photos to all chats, including group chats. Even video for that matter. Friends who I have brought back to BBM now that it's cross-platform have this as their major gripe - and I've gotta agree with them on this. Sharing a pic with a group is one thing, but kind of cumbersome if you just want to toss one directly into a chat like with Whatsapp.

Posted via CB10

Unlike Android and iOS users, those of us on BB10 don't have a choice as we can't delete BBM.

Saying "don't use BBM" is ridiculous. What would be better is to have an opt-in option.

Why should loyal BlackBerry users be treated this way?

I'm not the only one who doesn't want this.

yeah why BBM why? i'd love to be selected in the beta program but i've never been selected!

shall we tweet @gadway for this? this is a bit UNFAIR!

Sadly blackberry stopped sending me beta invites, though I was registered and in part of the bbm beta program since they introduced bbm calling.

Posted Via CB10 Running On Z10STL100-2 Using OS Version

Hey DJ,
If you're still monitoring this, I had a question about the instructions stating to unfollow the BlackBerry Channel. Is this because the BlackBerry Channel will be suggested in the future? Also wondering before I bork something... Can I add it back after I upgrade? Already upgraded a long time ago, and asked others on BBM, but nothing conclusive.


That was my take on it. I got a sponsored invite to Thought Bubbles, the other channel mentioned. But nothing from BlackBerry channel yet

Posted via CB10

Got up for work and found your reply notification on my Z10. I appreciate it. At least I know I am on the same page with someone knowledgeable. Feeling a lot better about it now. I don't want to go any further in details about the beta, as I've probably said too much already, but I received no reply to my feedback emails as I normally do so thanks for the confirmation.

Great write-up! :)

I'm in the beta program and stopped getting updates since the new smilies etc.

Way to go BlackBerry!! Keep up the Crap work.

Posted via CB10

Were you following the BlackBerry Channel previously?
Did you unfollow prior to downloading this beta build?
If so, have you been able to re-add the channel since with no issues?


Yeah. All of my channels were restored as well. Everything was restored in fact. But I followed the instructions about the BlackBerry channel from the email, and was wondering why this was required, and if it was safe to re-add it.

It looks like you had no issues with it so I guess I will just follow it again.

I just wonder why they said that. Specifically mentioning the channel number and all. Oh well.


Posted via CB10

I didn't / don't understand it either. You didn't see that in the email? Here is the exact quote...
"Ø  Please ensure you are not subscribed to the BlackBerry Channel (C0001F622) and/or Thought Bubbles (C004A2C68) before loading this build. If you are subscribed please unsubscribe."

Weird to me as well.

Posted via CB10

Ya. I figured as much. Which is why I asked tongue & cheek about him seeing it in the email. Surely all who have been invited via email has seen this. But, I figured he was just as curious as I was after I mentioned it. Thanks!

Yeah. I thought as much when I made my first post to DJ here. She confirmed what I was thinking.

Posted via CB10

I know bbry needs to make a profit but sponsored posts already? Why oh why would the average Android or iPhone user use this now? And don't say security, they already don't use a bbry so they obviously aren't a crackberry super secret ceo undercover agent who needs to keep their pics of their kids they want to send or the grocery list for the wife out of the hands of spies.

It's the beginning of the end for the best thing they have going. At least they have something different than the competition now...

Flawlessly flowed post using a SwiftKey enabled GSIII via the Android CrackBerry App!

Regarding ", which we know will never appear in chats", CB staff seems to be pushing that line a lot.

But what they don't seem to mention at the same time, are BlackBerry's apparent plans to allow advertising IN THE HUB, AND IN UPDATES.

I have no issue with advertising in Channels, because it was always assumed that this was a "commercial area" to a large extent.

However I have a MAJOR issue with forcing me to look at advertising in Hub or Updates.

If I get ad's in my hub without a way of opting out then I'm discontinuing use of BBM immediately.

Posted via Z10

The moment I get an ad/sponsored post/channel in my Hub, then my Q10 will be thrown in a drawer never to be used again.

Ads in BBM? This sucks.

I don't understand how I was in the limited beta for the first few versions of BBM and now I'm not. This sucks. Hope it becomes official sooner than later.

I got in invite to be apart of the BBM beta with sponsored posts but i'm hesitant to download. I don't want ads regardless of my likes and what I talk about. That's fine if they want to put ads in Android and Apple versions but if I own a Blackberry, I shouldn't get ads. I will wait for others who are apart of this beta and see how much of the ads affect my BBM experience before I download.

Got the invite email and I have no intention of getting into this shite.

Why are you ppl so excited about ads + "sponsored access"?

Posted via CB10

Can group's name be change? So share location, photos and voice mail can be done in group chat?

Posted via CB10

The 16 MB limit was already added in the PREVIOUS beta version. With that said, the amount of updates both WhatsApp and BBM have been churning out recently signals a start of a new war. I like it :)

If the message and action bars plus the title bar also could be able to hide when not neede in the Q10 screen, That would be great.

Does anyone know whom to tweet?

Posted via CB10

bbm is really advancing things at a torrid pace. They are probably almost through the big changes as far as usability goes now it should be down to the refinement level. The thing i like about some of the other messenging apps is they are simple. unfortunately people out there just dont understand alot of the extra functionality and although it doesnt hurt to build in alot of these features many of them go unused by the majority of users. most people just want to be able to communicate and send a few pics and have it work and be reliable. The rest although great just isnt be used anyway. Refinement needs to come. i think in time it will come. Especially on the other platforms where alot of issues still exist. i think for the apple version in fact they could take out alot of the extra functions people that use that platform usually arent the sophisticated operator. The android version perhaps could be the one with a few extra customization features and the blackberry version well they should simply get everything. These are your sophisticated business operators who need all those extra features and know how to use them. i would still like to see a benefit for the people who actually use the blackberry phone. They should be the ones getting the updates and features first and in some cases the blackberry options should only be for blackberry. This makes it actually enticing to move over to the full feature platform. So having a couple of versions of the software makes sense and can work in the favour of blackberry i just hope that they subscribe to these thoughts.

I really don't like this "limited beta" stuff :(
I've been a Beta member for like 2 years now! Come on Blackberry, I want to test new stuff!

You still get to test even though not BETA menbers. Cuz eventually it will release for everyone...

Posted via CB10

Ads should only be on ios and android and windows phone. It should be default ad free for BlackBerry users

It's no f****n use! This is only available to a few people within the Beta Program, I still haven't seen any 10.3 invite

Posted on a sexy QTEN

Hi does anybody knows if w will have the option of not having adds in the BBM?
I mean pay an annual fee for opting out of adverts.

Posted via CB10

BBM should adopt the following functionality
1. Image and video thumbnails like whatsapp
2. ability to share video in group.

Thats all and it will become the best of the lot :D

When BlackBerry bring the beta updates only for a few people, it's useless for me.
I only get small surveys to BlackBerry Link and I'm answering them all.
A really strange way they took, but okay. Let's wait for official release.

Wenn du mir sagst, was dort draußen richtig ist, werde ich nicht mehr versuchen dich zu küssen... (Sayumi Whisp)

Does anyone know if this Beta version works on the leaked OS, or does it crash?
I've been invited to all the BBM beta releases but T-Mobile US hasn't given us an official update yet, so they are useless.

Posted via CB10

Once it installed I initially list my bbm group. One hour later and a restart and the group is restored along with the members but at least 1/2 of the posted group pictures are gone. 24 hours later those pictures are still gone and presumably forever. Not too happy, many were important family shots

Posted via CB10

I have the update and it's hard to test since I have no contacts that are also on Beta. I've been showing the new Stickers to people and they want them asap. Best I can do anyway.

This is the feature I can't wait to see, the file limit is a pain in the peeeep.
The only positive thing I can say about the file limit is that it made me start using Dropbox to share links which is more convenient for me

Posted via CB10

I've been using the new BBM beta update for about 5days now and have seen/gotten and ad/invite promo of any kind. I initially subscribed to the BLACKBERRY channel, which I was told to unsubscribe for in other to install the BBM beta update, and up till date no 'invite' from the channel (though I was told to watch out for it).

Should I still wait for it or I should just subscribe again manually?