BlackBerry introduces BBM Stickers in limited beta

By DJ Reyes on 21 Feb 2014 12:55 pm EST
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With quite a big update to BBM on BlackBerry, Android and iOS recently, BlackBerry is working hard to bring more new features to BBM. What's next? BBM Stickers. Bigger and better than your regular emoticons, making your BBM conversations even more interesting. They will be available to download in packs via a BBM Shop that will be coming soon.

BBM Stickers will take the form of characters, themes and will be available in packs of 20-25 stickers. Some of your favorite emoticons will also be turned in to stickers too.

BBM Stickers will go into limited beta, so watch your inbox for any invites. As we get more information we'll keep you posted. The BBM Shop sounds very interesting and is said to be available right from inside BBM.

If you're not in the beta program stay tuned tomorrow as we'll have a video of BBM stickers up for you. 

Reader comments

BlackBerry introduces BBM Stickers in limited beta

142 Comments

What I find intriguing is that this is a beta for not just BB10 but also includes BBOS this time around.

Having said that, I'm trying to download it but I think every Canuck is watching the game on their phones/tabs cuz my minor 18 meg BBM 10.3.12.21 is going suuuuppppeeeerrrr sllllooooowwwwwww.

Its a good way to add a new feature and monetize at the same time. This way of monetization is way better than Channels.

The more I think about it the more I like the idea but I just wanted to make sure I am right in thinking they are just oversized emojis still, right?

Correct. They will have more detail due to the size and generally emphasizes a point greater than emoji do.

Thanks for asking that question I was wondering the same thing. I do find the smaller emtioncons are too small.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I was wondering when I saw there in app Purchase in Play store next to BBM app.

The addition is welcomed when they solve the problems in BBM Android .

Too much memory taking. Hanging and freezes a lot even with 3 GB of ram in my note 3

You are right and that is why many of my friends stick to WhatsApp , they downloaded BBM on their iPhone's and Androids but we're just not convinced to use it regularly unfortunately :(

I've noticed that when I looked through the latest BBM for Android reviews. Quite a lot of Android users are experiencing memory usage issues. They said that it's taking up a lot more memory than WhatsApp. Adding new features to a software application is great but you also have to keep in mind that you also have to provide timely updates including bug fixes and stability improvements to keep users happy . I really hope the BBM team can strike the right balance between adding features and providing bug fixes. If they can do that, I think BBM will be in the long haul in this instant messaging competition. It seems like there's more problems for BBM on the Android side than on the iOS side.

exactly this... i was trying to stick with it, but when i noticed that the bbm app was using 201MB of memory, and my phone battery was dying extra quickly with bbm using close to 10% of my battery, i decided that it was time for that app to go.

i won't reinstall it until they start releasing performance updates. it's great to have features, but when the app is pretty much useless because performance is lacking, what good are those features? anyway, i wish them luck in this. i would really like to see this messenger succeed. i just can't be a lab rat in hopes of their success.

I agree naturalblue. I am in a group with about seven friends that meet every two weeks. We use Yahoo Groups to keep the group informed of stuff and I suggested we all download BBM to our phones and create a BBM Group. That would be fine if all my friends had BlackBerry or iPhones, but those with Android phones reported that the app was crashing their phone every time they opened it. I was very bummed about this because BBM Groups is way better than Yahoo Groups, but not if if doesn't work for everyone.

So this is how BlackBerry plans to make money from BBM. Good first move.

Posted with my Z10 via CB10

You mean if we could use BBM to call landline and cell numbers with the cost of a few cents per minute? That would be great if we get that option.

Posted via CB10

BBM Shop, huh? Well, I guess we now know at least one way BlackBerry is going to monetize BBM. I'd imagine that they'd offer different packages based on the OS (i.e. BB10 users would have more variety or something vs. iOS/Android).

I think I like...

Or free, whichever. I'm just saying that a "BBM Shop" would allow them to generate revenue off of the service, while the differentiation between platforms would let the BBM Team offer incentives for being a BB10 user vs. utilizing BBM on another platform.

They'll have to be careful what they offer as free and what's exclusive to BB10 so as to not completely turn off other users. I've long suspected that BBM Video will somehow be "premium" for BlackBerry owners, and maybe the new Shop can offer the same features to iOS/Android users through in-app purchases.

They should definitely have at least one pack free just to get people to try it (for all platforms). Then they may be more inclined to purchase additional packs.

I think it's a great idea to have some free packs for BB users as a sign of appreciation and a small incentive for users using a BB device.

Quick CrackBerry get your CrackBerry logo in there as one of the stickers

I flick all my words from my amazing BlackBerry Z10

Not really my kinda thing but hey, can't hurt, the more features the better. As long as things stay simple and easy to use.

Posted via CB10

They might want to work on better/larger file sharing and cross-platform video chat first.

Posted via CB10

But it would be nice if BlackBerry added more cloud file sharing options such as Box, Google Drive and OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) for BBM in a future update. Not just DropBox.

So, stickers will be available in themed packs. Probably for about $1~5 each.
Maybe stability fixes will also be available at $10 each, or message reliability for $0.50 a pop.

And if BBM really takes of like we all hope, the servers will become strained and Voice calls will also be put on a payment plan.
Good days ahead of us. :P
_____

No, but seriously. This sounds like the perfect solution to a problem nobody was having.
Unless these Stickers somehow glue new users permanently to BBM.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

Bleh, I hate being so negative. Let me try again:

Hey, this could be just the thing that could get the young generations interested in BBM.
Maybe they should even build MockIt into BBM so people can easily share memes and mockups.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

Except the problem of no revenue that BBM generates. Artists can submit sticker art, get paid, and BlackBerry takes a cut.

Check out my AZ MTB Channel C0006F5EB

I got it!!! Alright!!! :D I hope the rest of you get it soon. I wonder if my BBM contacts will be able to see it. I hope so, but a little bit of me doubts it. Same thing happened with all the newer emoticons.

Posted via my Q10SQN100-5/10.2.1.2141

Nedd to improve the ui of bbm the convos, group chats, sending files increasing the maximum file size, details that make the experience the easiest and most productive.
Then we can focus on stickers and emotions.

Just saying don't need to agree

Posted via CB10

Awesome. Keep adding features. How about augmented reality integration next? Like the old BBM-Wikitude on OS 7. It would be cool to pan your BB to find the location of your BBM friends or family in concerts, airshows, night live areas, etc. I don't think WhatsApp, LINE, or Wechat have that feature yet. Expand this with the ability to see other people in the vicinity (if they chose to be visible), see their profiles, and swipe left or swipe right like Tinder ;) BBM FTW!!!

Just got the beta notice.... I bet this is like the last emoticon beta when it does me no good because no one else can see them.

You nailed it right there. I just installed it and like the last beta no one can see what I am sending them. What is the point of a beta program if you can't really test it out for them.

Posted via CB10

The last beta I was asked to join was either MockIt (though I think that was open to everyone) or the Evernote beta. Never got a beta invite for BBM 10.3, so here's to hoping it isn't a super secret limited beta...just limited for traffic/bug hunting reasons, lol.

So in the wake of Blackberry losing the US Air Force, it decides to re-align to target demographic to 10 year olds??? Seriously, this sticker thing is so beyond lame. When you read about BBM and the potential it has for enterprise...not going to happen with stupid sh*t like this. Blackberry wants to become the "Porshe of smartphones", not going to happen with stupid sh*t like this. Who is Blackberry targeting with stupid sh*t like this? Certainly not professionals, enterprise or government (well maybe government) users. Cheap stupid strategies like this are what gave Blackberry a bad name to begin with (Curve 8530???). All I see if this makes it out of beta is Blackberry further isolating its remaining user base, not growing it. Hell, if this makes it out of beta I'll even consider jumping ship and going back to Android. I already did after the 2 year debacle that was the BlackBerry 10 launch. I came back because I love the BB10 and think it has so much potential. But stupid sh*t like stickers is not going to do anything except tarnish whats left of the brand.

Posted via CB10

Remember that BBM is a consumer product/service catered to multi platforms not enterprise. They have another solution for that called enterprise BBM.

Q10SQN100-3/10.2.1.2141, Z30, Z10, iP5, SGS3

Blackberry needs to decide if BBM is going to be enterprise or consumer. If it tries to be both it will fail at both.

Yeah...think that thru smart guy....How are both Apple and Samsung ANYWHERE in an enterprise? GOOD. They are are not going after both. They are going after the consumer, with enterprise as an afterthought. They are NOT going after enterprise. The MINUTE either of them said NO to GOOD, they would be DEAD in enterprise.

Have you been watching the news? $19BILLION

This is not for the professionals. This is for the cross-platform social messenger. There will be an enterprise segment to BBM, but if they ever want to tackle WhatsApp, they need more than the few million users that enterprise brings in.

This, as I see it, is a cheap, easy way to bring an element of "fun" to an otherwise bland brand, as viewed by most.

They have the option of going after WhatsApp with dumb sh*t like this and risk tarnishing their brand in all other business lines. Is a WhatsApp enterprise segment on the way? They can't be everything. They need to take a stand and decide who their target demographic is.

"Have I been watching the news?"...(Que Huey Lewis and the News "Gotta Get Back in Time") Its 2014 not 2008. Blackberry lost the consumer war 6 years ago.

Have you read other articles in this forum over the last 6 years or even the last 2 since BB10 launched? BLACKBERRY IS NOT A CONSUMER DEVICE. [We (sic)(Blackberry/Crackberry fans] lost that war 6 years ago. We are barely hanging on in the only space WE have left.

If Blackberry wants to after that demographic with stupid sh*t like "Stickers" (are you serious? que the 10 year olds and retards) they need to re-brand BBM and make sure they take the Blackberry name out of that.

Can you imagine a Chief Executive/Technology/Information Officer getting "Stickers" in an enterprise platform and thinking "Yeah, This is a good idea".

This is Blackberry's "Jump the Shark" moment.

I don't get the whole stickers thing but if even only 1 million of the 80 million+ bbm users pay for stickers, that's still a good chunk of extra revenue.

So it's all good.

Posted via CB10

*puke* .. The essence of BBM is somehow getting lost.. they are targeting Wechat/whatsapp.. BBM so far has a very simple UI with clean emoticons.. these stickers will make BBM suck.. BlackBerry claims that enterprise users are on their radar. Just imagine, an enterprise user receiving stickers on BBM!

Yes Meme integration would be cool. Buy a meme package, submit text, auto blend, and submit.

I'd pay $5 for that. Stickers are for people who usually are too young for smartphones.

Posted via CB10

What is purpose of having emoticons. And now bigger ones? That's a joke. Is this for the iPhone babies I kool-aid drinkers 2 year Olds and grandma's on iPhone who cannot recognize the greatest phone on earth is BlackBerry and that emoticons are stupid childish junk?

Delta Champion

That's the limited part of the limited beta group. You're participation is to see how the back end integration works and provide feedback on that.
Trust me, my wife would LOVE some of these and it sucks being the only one to see them at this point, but the beta is just for testing back end stuff. Provide as much feedback as you can and help BBM be the BEST before going fully public with new stuff.

I think trash like this cheapens BBM. It's easy to fall down the same hole as MSN did. It's bad enough they people can use smilies in their display names.

Posted via CB10

Update works well for me, just wondering if those who don't have the updated BBM will still see the stickers.

The BlackBerry Z30 Everybody!

I see a lot of negative comments on stickers, I think that stickers will not tarnish the BBM brand or image. I'm sure it will help get more people on board as this is considered fun by alot of people.

I can see that around my circle of friends between 20's - 40 year old they love stickers. I'm sure animated ones with sound will be even better.

Posted via CB10

I'm in that 20-40 year old age group and I'm really glad I don't know anyone that would know your circle of friends despite the fact that they sound so exciting.

They are doing exactly what facebook does with messenger. Sticker packs available, many for free while others are for sale.

Looking forward to the update and the availability of stickers but would like some information about how video chat with screen share are coming along for ANDROID and IOS.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Not sure how much I'll use the stickers, but the idea of the BBM Shop sounds cool. It will be interesting to see what other items are offered once rolled out completely.

Also, for anyone wondering it looks like this version of BBM is compatible with 10.2.1.1925 and 10.2.1.2141. I know that was an issue in the past so I thought I'd confirm it works.

I don't like the sticker idea. I don't think that feature fits into bbm. The emoticons are good enough. Focus on getting video chat out on iOS and Android.

Posted via CB10

I would find it a lot more important to have proper backup and restore functions for the chat history. In the best case a export to XML function to archive those.

Wow! I am excited about stickers, but admittedly it's because I have a wife and two daughters. I don't get why so many people are complaining. Maybe it is not a feature you are excited about, but for many others it IS exciting. RELAX, if you don't like them don't use them.

Really...You get excited over stickers??? This is when a "really sad sticker" would come in handy...despite the fact that I hate the idea of stickers. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge family MAN, but admittedly I don't get "excited" over stickers.

Stickers for teens... OK, stealing candy from a baby is a good way to make a few bucks quickly.

What about being able to write Maths formulae? Or share code?
Is BBM only about lulz?

"Snap" is the best stop-gap solution for Android apps while we wait for BlackBerry to get its act together...

Installed the beta. Have sent stickers to some other beta users and it's simple enough to do. The artwork on the sample packs isn't my cup of tea, but really this is just to test it out. It isn't something I would use a lot, but it will be appealing to a lot of people. For those of you that are complaining about this feature, simply don't use it. It's just another feature to compete against other IM apps

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 STL100-4 10.2.1.1925

Man, if I were a twelve year old girl I'd be all over this!

Come on BlackBerry, bring functionality, not gimmicks!

Posted via CB10

Quickly scanning the comments I see I'm not the only one who went WHAT?

Can BB make up its mind? Are these going to be corporate devices or consumer devices. STICKERS? Really? Who are they catering to with these?

Oh, well............

All these features are really cool I just hope they optimize the code though because the lag is really killing them. It's almost like they are in a huge frenzy to keep adding cheap to bbm that the coders are getting sloppy

Posted via CB10

Whether you like stickers or not (personally I dont), it is a way for them to start to monetize BBM and that is a good thing for the company. They desperately need this! They have to start some where and I think stickers is a great way to open up BBM SHOP. They can expand SHOP into other areas later. Eg. Ringtones, Themed looks for BBM itself, BBM merchandise etc etc.

Not approved by the NSA. My personal Q10

I like them and think they're fun. Personally these are the size I always wanted the emoticons to be. I downloaded all 3 packs and been having a blast. No it's not corporate, but "all work and no play".... I would love use them in Groups. Channels-not so much. It should be free for BlackBerry users and everyone else pays a nominal fee. Right now it needs some work. Some don't show to others and there is a lag in sending and receiving them. I get a bunch coming out of nowhere. They also don't show in the hub. What I don't like is that they send as soon as they are tapped without tapping a Send button. No chance to delete it or change your mind.

Posted via CB10

These new updates and new features Blackberry is putting an effort on..is AMAZING I just keep loving BBM more and more after they start updating so many things
Keep it up trust me its an brilliant job:d:d

Posted via CB10

In all seriousness though, I see now how many people are complaining about this, so let me bring some perspective. BlackBerry desperately needs new sources of revenue to compensate for lost hardware and licensing sales. They need to show something on the books for BBM fast so that that new division can start to see some kind of independent valuation. There are really only 4 different rev models out there to do this with: 1) ads 2) stickers and other ad-ons features 3) subscription fees and 4) phone call fees (e.g. Skype).

Stickers is a very quick win to generate some near term sales with a subset of the user base. I'm sure it will become popular in places where BBM still saturates the market (Indonesia, South Africa, etc) so why knock it? It's working for Line and Wechat...more importantly it means that it will set up a (in-app purchase) STORE within all those iOS and Android devices using BBM that can be used for selling other add-on features in the future. Channels is fun but is most aligned with an ad-based model...this will take longer to fill out. Regarding sub fees I think we'd have to hit 250M + users before that approach would make sense. With the last method, I'm not sure how close they are to being able to implement that kind of Skype-like approach (calls to landlines), but the store setup would certainly help with buying credits etc.

Posted via CB10

Cooool.
The better news is that Whatsapp is down worldwide cos FB guys don't know how to fix it. LOL

Posted via CB10 from my Awesome Q10