Yesterday, an update to BBM rolled out for BlackBerry, Android and iOS. The version had been running in BlackBerry Beta Zone for a while and now it is rolling out to everyone. There are a handful of new features to be found in this latest update from Private Chat to the ability to quote messages. We're going to be taking a closer look at these new features.
As already mentioned one of the new features added in this update is Private Chat, this is one part of a subscription bundle that also includes Retract and Timed Messages. The subscription is now called Privacy and Control. If you were previously subscribed to the Retract and Timed Messages subscription, you will automatically be upgraded to the new bundle.
Private Chat is a two person chat which is initiated by someone with the subscription, the other party does not have to be subscribed. What private chat allows you to do is just that, have a private conversation. The conversation will be deleted after one minute of no communication between the two parties. To start a Private Chat, open a normal chat window with the person you want to have a private chat with. On the top you'll see a new icon next to the BBM Voice/Video icons - a glasses icon - tap that icon.
A request to start a Private Chat will be sent to the recipient, so they need to accept that request. You have to be within BBM to initiate this, if you do this from a BBM chat within the Hub it will prompt you to open up BBM.
A new chat window will appear, it will not show details of who is chatting, it will just have the glasses icon and Private Chat along the top bar. You'll also find a trash icon there to manually delete the conversation. Other than those differences, you'll find the usual items within a BBM chat - clip icon for attaching photos etc, smiley icon for sending BBM Stickers or smileys. Again when you're chatting, the individual bubbles appear but it will not show details of who's in the conversation.
You can leave the Private Chat window if you do, the Private Chat appears to float, just under the top bar where your own BBM details are. You'll clearly see it as it shows there as a bright green ribbon.
If you scroll down your regular BBM chat list, this green ribbon stays at the top ready for you to tap and return to private chatting. If you don't go back into the chat after 1 minute has passed, the conversation will be deleted and a toast notification will display to tell you this.
Timed and Retracted Messages now includes photos. You can now also edit messages sent. To edit a message, tap and hold it and then tap Edit Message. The message will then be retracted and it will be available in the text filed for you to edit.Once you're done editing, just send the message again. There is no change to the way you send Timed Messages or Retract Messages.
Another new feature is the ability to quote messages. This is handy, probably more so within groups where a lot of conversation can happen. If you or someone missed something and perhaps asked a question that was already answered, it can be copied and quoted. This feature is separate to the Privacy and Control subscription. Using Quote Message does not require you to have a subscription.
For those who use BBM Stickers, you'll now be happy to know that you can now rearrange your sticker collection. This has been something we have wanted a long time, and we're very glad to see the option is now here.
Remember the Privacy and Control features are part of a subscription, this costs $0.99/month.