Hot on the heels of announcing availability for Europe and Africa, BlackBerry has now announced BBM video support for iPhone and Android has expanded to Asia-Pacific in beta form, giving iPhone and Android users the ability to video-call each over BBM.
As noted on the announcement post, this update is part of a much larger BBM update coming later this summer:
This 1.0 version of BBM Video is part of a larger BBM release, currently slated for later this summer. That version will also include a couple of other exciting feature requests from users: phone number registration, improvements to group chats, and expanded message retraction for stickers, files, and other content. Plus, Android users will be able to share larger videos with their contacts. And iOS users will be able to mute chat and group notifications.
Phone-number registration has consistently been at the top of the customer request list. This new feature will allow iOS and Android users to create a BBM account with a phone number instead of an email address. This streamlines the sign-up process significantly and provides a more reliable way to secure your contact network. It also creates a more reliable method for resetting forgotten passwords, as people are moving toward having a single phone number and keeping it longer than they keep their email addresses.
Phone-number registration will also make it easier to find and add new BBM Contacts. BBM will be able to match the phone numbers of people in your device's address book with people who have registered for BBM with their phone number. BBM will then list these contacts in your app as People You Know, meaning you can initiate a chat with them in just a few taps.
Don't worry: we're not doing away with PINs or Custom PINs. We're simply adding another option for added flexibility, giving people more than one way to sign up.
As for why BlackBerry waited to roll it out to the home of their largest userbase. Well, that's because they wanted to release it in smaller markets first so they would have the chance to address any issues that might have come up before opening it up to more traffic. Logical reasoning for sure.