BBM (formerly BlackBerry Messenger) is a data-based instant messaging network that is exclusive to BlackBerry devices. Messages are sent over BlackBerry’s private network, ensuring security and privacy. End users have long enjoyed helpful features such as notifications which show if a message was successfully sent, if it was read, and if the other party is currently typing a response.
Since its inception, BBM has grown in functionality to include groups with shared calendars, lists and files. Application developers can also make their apps BBM-connected in a number of ways, including showcasing their app on a user’s BlackBerry Messenger profile. Music played on a BlackBerry’s native media player can also be optionally shown as a status message on BBM.
BBM has always been a BlackBerry only app, but as announced during BlackBerry Live 2013, BBM officially went cross-platform on Android and iOS on October 21, 2013.
Aug 01, 2015
Enter to win a BBM prize pack in our BBM 10th birthday contest!
Today, August 1, officially marks BBM's 10th birthday and to help celebrate the occasion BlackBerry has been highlighting some key moments from BBM history and offering up a free special BBM sticker pack but we wanted to celebrate as well with our readers, so with some help from BlackBerry, we've put together 10 BBM prize packs to give away to readers such as yourself! What's in the packs? Glad you asked.
Jul 28, 2015
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.
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'."
Jul 21, 2015
BBM for BlackBerry 10 and Android updated with bug fixes and performance improvements
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.
Jul 20, 2015
Monsters Inc Stickers roar into the BBM Shop
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.
Jun 30, 2015
BlackBerry pushes out a bug fix update for BBM
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.
Jun 29, 2015
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.
Jun 27, 2015
A look at the updated Privacy and Control BBM features
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.
Jun 26, 2015
BlackBerry Messenger update makes it easier to control what you share
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.
Jun 15, 2015
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.
Jun 12, 2015
Latest BBM for iOS beta brings 'Private Chat' feature through Privacy and Control subscription
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 v2220.127.116.11. 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.
Jun 04, 2015
CrackBerry Asks: Have you been put off purchasing BBM Sticker packs due to their price?
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?
Jun 01, 2015
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.
May 20, 2015
BBM for iOS beta v18.104.22.168 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.
May 07, 2015
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.
May 06, 2015
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.
Apr 30, 2015
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.
Apr 26, 2015
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.
Apr 15, 2015
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.
Apr 10, 2015
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.
Apr 08, 2015
Users sticking around longer for BBM 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.
Apr 06, 2015
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.
Apr 02, 2015
As the BBM Shop turns one year old, BlackBerry shares 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
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
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'.
Mar 30, 2015
New BBM beta arriving this week will introduce message retraction and timed message subscriptions
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.
Posted by John Callaham on 20 Mar 2015 10:44 am EDT
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.
Here's how BlackBerry describes the service:
BBM Protected offers an enterprise-grade secure instant messaging service with all the features of a consumer IM app, the hardening of on-...
Posted by John Callaham on 12 Mar 2015 9:09 am EDT
BlackBerry has released an update for the iPhone version of its BBM messaging app. The new version includes paid subscription options to get rid of ads and more.
For 99 cents a month, BBM users won't see any ads in their feed, and also won't get any sponsored invites from third parties. For $1.99 a month, users can also create a custom PIN. Here's how that will work:
With a Custom PIN...
Posted by Joseph Keller on 4 Mar 2015 12:14 pm EST
BlackBerry has announced that BBM for Android has been downloaded over 100 million times from the Google Play Store. The app has hit this milestone in 17 months following its October 2013 launch.
BBM is now showing in the 100 million-500 million installs category. BlackBerry also notes that this is just a part of their total, given their availability on iOS, Windows Phone, and of course,...
As expected, thanks to the earlier announcement, BBM has now been updated for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android. The feature list for this update is rather large and includes custom BBM PINs, Android Wear support, Password protection and landscape mode for iOS users plus, you can now share photos in group chats and have multiple BBM channel contributors. You can have a look at the full rundown...
Posted by Joseph Keller on 1 Mar 2015 12:55 pm EST
BlackBerry has announced the arrival of new customization options for BBM. While in testing for awhile, tomorrow, March 2, will see the debut of custom BBM PINs. Also arriving tomorrow is BBM for Android Wear.
Custom BBM PINs will let you create a unique, alphanumeric PIN. Custom PINs are a subscription feature, and can be purchased from the BBM shop for $1.99 per month. With Android...
To go along with the BBM for iOS update, the BBM team has also rolled out a new update for the BlackBerry 10 as well. This release focuses on key issue that was affecting users and that's notifications not displaying for picture messages in group chats. A small but welcomed updated. It's live right now in the BlackBerry Beta Zone so if you're one of those on the limited beta, go ahead and get...
UPDATED - Ahh, there was a full change log. The update just wasn't showing it. I have now included it below.
If you're a beta tester for BBM on iOS, you now have a new update available for you through TestFlight. While the change log for this one appears rather long, a lot of it's just the same as previous versions so it seems there's no huge changes in this release despite the larger version...
In addition to the iOS beta rolling out, BBM for BlackBerry 10 is also getting a beta update, that brings both platforms in line with each other. With that being the case, the change log for the BlackBerry 10 release is almost identical so, BlackBerry 10 users will have the option to create a custom PIN, remove ads and have a special badge on their profile picture in BBM.
Previously we let you all know BlackBerry was testing custom PIN and no ad options for BBM but they weren't fully enabled. Now, BlackBerry has pushed a new BBM for iOS beta that opens the doors to those options for some wide testing. As noted in the changes, vanity PIN's, removable ads and a new avatar badging feature are now up for testing if you have an iOS device and are using BBM on it....
This one won't come as much of a surprise, given BlackBerry's ongoing efforts to monetize BBM and the fact they announced it at CES, but it's interesting that it has now started to appear. If you're running the beta build of BBM on iOS, the 'No Ad' and 'Custom PIN' options have started showing up in the BBM Shop indicating BlackBerry might soon be ready to push them live or is at the very least...
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