BBM
BlackBerry Apps | 383 Comments BBM 2.1 now available for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices As expected, the latest version of BBM will begin rolling out today across BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices. BBM 2.1 brings with it BBM Stickers as well as some new features like pictures in multi-person chats and larger file transfers of up to 16MB. The stickers will be available in both...

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Jul 31, 2015 Celebrate BBM's 10th Birthday with this free BBM sticker pack!
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BBM cake

As we mentioned earlier, August 1 marks BBM's 10th birthday and to celebrate the occasion BlackBerry has been taking a look back at the origins of the app as well as recapping some highlights from the 10 years BBM has been available. As part of the celebrations, BlackBerry has now announced a new, free for a limited time sticker pack as well that has now arrived in the BBM Shop.

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Jul 28, 2015 Latest update to BBM for iOS brings bug fixes and improvements
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Latest update to BBM for iOS brings bug fixes and improvements

Looking to keep things in line, across all the platforms the app supports, BlackBerry has now posted up a new build of BBM for iOS. Just as with the latest BlackBerry 10 and Android releases, the changelog on this one isn't exactly huge and only highlights bug fixes and improvements as the key additions. Still, it's an update, so go ahead and give it a go and let us know in the comments if it's working any better for you with this release versus how it was working before.

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Thanks, Noah!

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Jul 27, 2015 August 1 marks the 10th Anniversary of BBM
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August 1, 2005. That's the day that hundreds of people started downloading BlackBerry Messenger v1.0 for the very first time as BlackBerry Principal Architect and main creator of BBM, Gary Klassen nervously sat at his desk. Originally planned for release as a part of BES 4.1, only a small number of employees were involved with the first version of BBM, which was to be called QuickMessenger until Jeremy Kettle came up with the term BBM - BlackBerry Messenger - during a meeting. A name that ultimately ended up being added to the English Collins Dictionary in 2012.

Speaking on those beginnings with the Inside BlackBerry Blog, Jonathan Nobles, the first product manager for BBM in 2005 recalled some of the early days of BBM.

"We were experimenting with various instant messaging ideas. We discovered that if we took the existing PIN to PIN solution and wrapped it in a nice GUI (Graphical user interface), we had a great product".

A highlight of the early days confirmed by BlackBerry Principal Architect and main creator of BBM, Gary Klassen, who noted.

"PIN to PIN [messaging] always had D's and R's," he said, referring to status updates showing when messages were Delivered and Read by users, "but they weren't on by default". Turning those features on in BBM created a pioneering sense of real-time presence that's now standard for many instant messaging applications.

"BBM was the first form of text communication that was instant, cross-carrier, and mobile, in a time when people were still attached to their PCs," says Klassen, who still invents things as a principal architect at BlackBerry. "With desktop IM's, you could show up as 'online', but you might not be at your computer. BBM was the first to be always with you, and you were truly always 'online'."

From there, BBM grew immensely thanks to the speed in which messages were delivered in addition to its low-bandwidth requirements. Today, new features have taken BBM to a level that was never really thought of at the time of its original development. As the Inside BlackBerry Blog notes, BBM has now become a social media platform, a medium for advertising, gaming and m-commerce, and the foundation of business-collaboration and highly-secure messaging services. Looking for some more background on BBM? Check out our video from CrackBerry Live with Gary Klassen. I think we'll have to have a contest on August 1. ;)

Background Image Via: Pootermobile

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Jul 21, 2015 BBM for BlackBerry 10 and Android updated with bug fixes and performance improvements
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BBM

For those of you out there using BBM on either BlackBerry 10 or Android, you'll want to fire up the respective app stores and get the latest updates downloaded. New builds for both BlackBerry 10 and Android have now arrived and are available. What's new you ask? Well, we really don't know because the changelog this time around was simply left at 'bug fixes and performance improvements'. Still that's enough reason to give them a go. If you happen to spot anything specifically new in either release, shout out in the comments and let us know. If you're an iOS user, no update for you as of yet.

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Jul 20, 2015 Monsters Inc Stickers roar into the BBM Shop
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Monsters-Inc-BBM-Stickers

When it comes to the BBM Shop there seems to be a slight inconsistency as to when new products show up for users. I'm not sure if this is a regional thing or a glitch, but either way, I was rather pleased to see the Monsters Inc sticker pack show up for me over the weekend.

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Jun 30, 2015 BlackBerry pushes out a bug fix update for BBM
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On Friday 26th, BBM was updated for BlackBerry, iOS and Android. A lot of people ran into issues with the update and today we see an update pushed out to fix those issues. If you have been having some problems with BBM since the update, it would be wise to update to this latest version.

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Jun 29, 2015 BBM Money users in Indonesia can now pay for goods and services online and in stores
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BBM Money users in Indonesia can now pay for goods and services online and in stores

While we're still waiting to hear some news about BBM Money for the U.S. and Canada, BlackBerry last week held an event to update media and the Android, BlackBerry and iOS communities in Indonesia on the latest additions to BBM Money that for the first time brings Instant Mobile Payments to users of the app on all major platforms and allows them pay for goods and services online and in stores – regardless of who they bank with.

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Jun 27, 2015 A look at the updated Privacy and Control BBM features
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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.

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Jun 26, 2015 BlackBerry Messenger update makes it easier to control what you share
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BBM adds Privacy and Control Subscription

The latest BBM update brings along with it a new subscription, Privacy and Control, which lets users have even more control over what they are sharing. Replacing Timed and Retracted Messages, Privacy and Control offers users some new features at the same $0.99 a month price tag.

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Jun 15, 2015 BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 update brings 'Private Chat' and Quote Message features
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BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 update brings 'Private Chat' and Quote Message features

Right before the weekend, we saw the BBM for iOS beta get updated with some new features and now, it's time for the BlackBerry 10 BBM beta to get updated. Just as with the iOS release, the latest BBM beta appearing in the BlackBerry Beta Zone for BlackBerry 10 brings the new private chat feature plus, the ability to reorder your sticker packs without having to use a flaky workaround method and finally, the ability to reference and reply to a previous message in your chat using a new quote feature.

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Jun 12, 2015 Latest BBM for iOS beta brings 'Private Chat' feature through Privacy and Control subscription
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BBM for iOS Beta

If you have an iOS device and have been testing out BBM through the Beta Zone, you'll want to ensure you get yourself updated the latest release through TestFlight as BlackBerry has sent out invites for v290.100.0.14. The biggest addition this time around is the introduction of 'Private Chat', which BlackBerry has bundled with the Timed Message and Retraction subscription to create a new package called Privacy and Control.

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Jun 04, 2015 CrackBerry Asks: Have you been put off purchasing BBM Sticker packs due to their price?
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BBM-Stickers-Passport

Just the other day I once again found myself browsing through the impressive selection of BBM Sticker packs that we now have sitting proudly in the BBM Shop. We've asked CrackBerry readers before if they are using stickers, but this time around I was interested to see if you were put off purchasing Sticker packs because of the price?

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Jun 01, 2015 BBM for Android beta gets Material Design update
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BBM for Android beta gets Material Design update

Last week BlackBerry teased something new was coming and while there was much speculation over what it would be, we can now put it to rest. As noted on the Inside BlackBerry blog, a new beta is filtering through the Beta Zone for those making use of an Android device and beta testing BBM that finally brings Android Material Design to the app, something BlackBerry committed to bringing several months ago.

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May 29, 2015 BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 and iOS updated in the Beta Zone
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BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 and iOS updated in the Beta Zone

Aside from their teasing of something new coming on Twitter, the BBM team has also gone ahead and released two new BBM beta versions into the BlackBerry Beta Zone. Between the two new releases, there's ultimately two new features that have been added overall. We've got the rundown for each release.

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May 20, 2015 BBM for iOS beta v2.9.0.6 improves timed message and message retraction features
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BBM for iOS beta v2.9.0.6 improves timed message and message retraction features

When new features get added to BBM, BlackBerry seemingly rolls them out to iOS beta releases first for whatever reason and that appears to the case once again. A new BBM for iOS beta has arrived with plenty of bug fixes and some improvements to the timed message and message retraction features available through subscriptions.

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May 07, 2015 BBM for Windows Phone snags Channel support in latest update
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BBM for Windows Phone snags Channel support in latest update

BlackBerry has pushed an update to BBM for Windows Phone today that finally adds access to the Channels feature. After making its debut in the beta version of BBM not too long ago, Channels are finally in the main app for everyone to enjoy.

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May 06, 2015 BlackBerry brings targeted audience options to BBM Channels
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BlackBerry brings targeted audience options to BBM Channels

Despite there being no official announcement, BlackBerry has recently added a pretty awesome feature to BBM Channels. Channel owners who use the online portal can now precisely target audiences they want to see particular updates and posts made to a channel. You can set targeting by a few different options such as demographic, geo-targetting as well as platform targeting.

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Apr 30, 2015 BlackBerry lowers BBM Custom PIN pricing for a limited time!
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BlackBerry lowers BBM Custom PIN pricing for a limited time!

To go along with their device sale, BlackBerry is also offering a bit of a sale through their BBM Shop as well wherein you can grab a custom BBM PIN of your own for only 99 cents. Although some may have taken advantage of this offer earlier as it seemingly appeared early accidentally, BlackBerry has now made it official and is even offering those who paid $1.99 for a custom PIN to update their subscription to the new pricing.

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Apr 26, 2015 Having issues with BBM Channels? Be sure to grab the latest BBM
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Having issues with BBM Channels? Be sure to grab the latest BBM

While a big update to BBM was rolled out two days ago, some folks have reported issues with BBM Channels wherein Channels weren't fully loading or comments couldn't be posted to channels. BlackBerry quickly fixed the issue by releasing another small update to BBM, but it looks as though some folks never fully got the notification for that release and as such are still running the initial update which has the problems present.

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Apr 24, 2015 How to hide BBM Sticker packs
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For many heavy BBM Sticker users, the option we now have to hide unwanted packs is awesome. If you tend not to use Stickers you'll probably be wondering what all the fuss is about. I'll explain.

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Apr 15, 2015 BBM beta update brings the ability to hide sticker packs, bug fixes
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BBM beta update brings the ability to hide sticker packs, bug fixes

The BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 has been updated today, and while it isn't a huge update, it does bring along the ability to hide sticker packs, which, as BlackBerry notes, could come in handy for packing away those seasonal packs.

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Apr 11, 2015 BBM beta for Windows Phone snags a slew of bug fixes in latest update
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BlackBerry has rolled out an update to its BBM beta app on Windows Phone today, and while it doesn't bring any fancy new features, it does include a whole slew of bug fixes.

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Apr 10, 2015 Multiple admin feature for BBM Channels now available
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Multiple admin feature for BBM Channels now available

Back at the beginning of March, BlackBerry pushed out an update to BBM and one of the highlights of that specific release was a mention of the ability to have multiple BBM Channel contributors through the BBM Channels online portal. For whatever reason, that function never appeared, and it was never mentioned again. That left many people wondering where it went and while we still don't have an answer for that, it has now finally gone live. As expected, it's fairly easy to add a new contributor to your channel.

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Apr 08, 2015 Users sticking around longer for BBM than WhatsApp and Snapchat
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BBM gets users to stick around longer than WhatsApp and Snapchat

BBM retains more users than most other mobile messaging apps, according to new data published by mobile analytics group Quettra. Measured against 22 messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Snapchat, and WeChat, BBM held on to 93% of its users after 30 days. The app also experienced higher user loyalty after the 60 and 90-day marks, according to BlackBerry:

As reported by The Information and CNBC, BBM held onto more than 93% of its users after 30 days, more than double the 43% average user retention after 30 days for all apps measured. After 60 days, 89% of BBM users remained loyal, and 82% after 90 days. Only Facebook Messenger ranked higher than BBM.

These high retention numbers aren't really surprising. Just last month, BBM crossed 100 million downloads from Google Play, though it should be noted that a number of BBM's competitors share similarly high download numbers, without experiencing the same loyalty from users. Recent updates to the app have also added many long-requested features, including custom BBM PINs and support for Android Wear.

Source: BlackBerry

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Apr 06, 2015 New BBM beta offers the ability chat with people outside of your BBM contacts
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New BBM beta offers the ability chat with people outside of your BBM contacts

UPDATE - A new Android beta has now also been pushed out with the exact same addition of the ability to chat with people outside of your BBM contact list.

With warning given well ahead that a new BBM beta was expected, the BlackBerry Beta Zone has now sent out emails to those who are a part of the BBM beta group and there're some interesting changes to be found. Both iOS and BlackBerry 10 have been updated with one identical feature, but the iOS version has few additional options as well as more bug fixes and more 'known issues' within the beta.

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Apr 02, 2015 As the BBM Shop turns one year old, BlackBerry shares some stats on its use
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BBM Shop turns one year old, BlackBerry share some stats on its use

In addition to the BlackBerry World celebrations, the BBM Shop is also celebrating its one year of existence and over at the Inside BlackBerry Blog, Matthew Talbot, Senior Vice President - Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry has shared some stats on its level of usage and offers some insight on just how many people are out there actually buying and using stickers for BBM.

Stickers Sent (since April 1, 2014):

  • More than 1.87 billion total
  • Currently 500 million per month
  • 20 percent of sticker-enabled users send at least 1 sticker per week
  • The average sticker user sends about 10 stickers per week

BBM Shop:

  • More than 1.5 billion total visits
  • Currently 250 million per month
  • Inventory of more than 250 items
  • Average BBM Shop user visits about 3 times per week

BBM Shop Momentum

BBM Shop

The blue line shows the number of stickers sent, while the green-blue line shows the number of shop visits, which BlackBerry attributes to more, better products and improving features like the 'Picker'.

As we learned from interviews with BlackBerry CEO John Chen after the latest earnings report, BlackBerry still has plenty planned for the monetization of BBM and the BBM Shop and as the blog post notes, more improvements to the BBM Shop experience are coming this year. We'll just have to wait and see what they are.

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Mar 30, 2015 New BBM beta arriving this week will introduce message retraction and timed message subscriptions
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If you're looking in the BBM Shop today and happen to spot a "Timed and Retracted Messages" subscription item available but it doesn't work, there's actually a good reason for it. As noted in a new Beta Zone email being sent out, it's in preparation for a new BBM beta build that is set to be arriving this week for those invited to try it out.

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Mar 20, 2015 BBM Protected now supports iOS and Android for more secure messaging
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BBM

BlackBerry is now offering its BBM Protected services to iOS and Android devices. This will allow those smartphone owners to access a more secure enterprise-based version of its BBM messaging service.

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