BlackBerry Introduces BBM Channels

By Adam Zeis on 14 May 2013 10:45 am EDT

During BlackBerry Live 2013 today, BlackBerry has announced a new service within BBM dubbed BBM Channels. Building on to the already feature-packed BBM, BBM Channels gives users a new way to communicate and stay in touch with people, communities and brands through BBM. 

BBM Channels allows users to create channels for themselves, a brand, business or community and extend their social networking through BBM. You have the ability to create and share posts that can be shared with all of your channel subscribers. 

BBM Channels launches in beta today and select partners already have channels available. Updates will roll out every few weeks and BBM Channels will officially launch this summer. 

Press Release

BBM Now Lets You Tune In to the People and Communities That Matter To You with BBM Channels

WATERLOO, ONTARIO - (May 14, 2013) - For the times when you want to share experiences beyond your friends or engage the communities you care about, BlackBerry(R) is taking its globally popular mobile social network, BlackBerry(R) Messenger (BBM(TM)), up a notch with new functionality called BBM Channels. BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) today announced the beta launch of BBM Channels, a new social engagement platform within BBM that will allow people to connect with the businesses, brands, celebrities and groups they are passionate about.

"BBM is the best way to stay connected, and with today's announcement, we're again expanding the capabilities of the service to provide a deeper real-time engagement experience for people to connect with brands, business, and communities that matter most to them," said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of Software Product Management and Ecosystem at BlackBerry. "With over 60 million highly engaged customers using BBM, content creators have a great opportunity to build deeper relationships, enhance their brands, and connect in new ways."

BBM Channels allows individuals and groups to create a dedicated channel and share information and updates with the immediacy that BBM offers. BBM customers around the world will be able to connect and share information, broadcast about themselves to their channel, or join their favorite communities and share their experiences of the channel with their BBM contacts.

Starting today, BBM customers can connect and share the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team on their BBM Channels. BlackBerry is working with leading global brands around the world to help them build and promote exciting new BBM Channel offerings.

BBM Channels features:

  • Create a channel - Create, edit and publish in an instant, and there are no limits to the number of followers you can have in your channel. Securely manage your channel from either a BlackBerry smartphone or the web.
  • Discover channels - BBM Channels includes a carousel that lets you discover new channels. You can share channel invites within a BBM chat, and people can be added or invited using the channel's PIN or QR code. -- View - View profiles for each BBM Channel you choose to follow.
  • Subscribe - Subscribing to a channel allows the channel owner to send you timely and relevant updates, giving the subscriber instant access to your news, deals, events or whatever you want to communicate. Subscribers can choose to receive notifications when new posts are available.
  • Participate - Participate and engage in conversations with your favorite people or communities by "Commenting" and "Liking" posts from channels you subscribe to. Channel owners have the option to directly chat one- on-one with a subscriber.
  • Monitor engagement - Easily use built-in measuring tools to assess and monitor follower engagement and interaction.

Today, BlackBerry also announced plans to bring BBM to iOS(R) and Android(TM) users this summer. BlackBerry expects that iOS and Android users will also be able to experience BBM Channels later this year, subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play.

BBM with BBM Channels is now available in beta for BlackBerry(R) 10 smartphones, as well as BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry(R) 5 OS through 7.1. For BlackBerry OS customers(i), BBM Channels is part of the new BBM version 8, which also offers enhanced navigation tools, with tabbed viewing for quick and easy access to contacts, chats, groups, recent updates and BBM Channels. Furthermore, it allows the option to share your enhanced profile information with BBM contacts or within invitations. The beta releases can be downloaded for free on BlackBerry Beta Zone(ii). Customers can sign up to BlackBerry Beta Zone for free at For more information about BBM, please visit

(i) BBM requires a BlackBerry service plan on BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS. (ii)BlackBerry Beta Zone is not available in all markets.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry Introduces BBM Channels


I wonder if this would work for blogs such as CB. Now that would be dope and a great way to help market bbm and blackberry.

Great, this is a solid method of leveraging the BBM user community! My list was shrinking due to folks going to other platforms, but this is breathing new life into BBM. Good stuff.

I see your point it is a lot like facebook. I don't know what analytics facebook has but I suppose the advantage maybe sits with the creator of the channel.

Hmmm. Sounds like Twitter. Hope we're not re-inventing the wheel here. (although BlackBerry did invent the wheel themselves), but does that make it ok?

Posted via CB10

Not so much just twitter, it is simply the same paradigm of all social networks whether it is twitter, fb or g+ and basically shows where they intend to go with bbm to move it beyond just being a great im client.

It's here in hamilton ont Canada I wish I wasn't at work lol so I could download it now

Posted via CB10

I guess this was the best way for BlackBerry to monetize BBM, but I it was a little funny how Thor seemed to want us to cheer for the idea of advertising on BBM. Awesome, man! You mean, I could receive corporate messaging from Mercedes? Damn, this is love for the end user or nothing is! ;-)

Posted via CB10

Let me give ya a hint! 60 million people prolly will try!
Business cant help themselves but join free addvertising! driving engagement! Brand recognition!
BBM going cross platform increases the amount of eyeballs. By hundreds of millions!
If you dont like you turn it off and dont use it! but people love free stuff!
I could give you a hundred uses! lets start with one popular use case! RSS feeds! the list is huge and gets bigger going forward! People will build and enhance business with this! This is potentialy MASSIVE!

what's the advantage: It's free, no adds, you can hype your company products, you choose who you want to follow etc. This could be big! Especially in the emerging markets where BB is trying to gain a solid footing!

The color of that Q10 in the picture at the beginning of this forum, looks awesome. wish they had on that colour!

Really nobody has anything to say about BBM on iOS and Android?

That will really help with bolstering comms options especially if they get voice and video calling someday (although I would almost be inclined to keep BBM Video as a BlackBerry only service)

Posted on white Z10 via CB10.

Am I missing something wasn't this created in the 80s, I believe it was called bulletin boards and then IRC.

Much like the cloud was created in the 70s, it was called mainframe and terminals!

Posted via CB10

Yes, i think BBM Channel took the idea from Internet Relay Chat of the 90. If it did , I think it will revive the glory of iRC and it should be great. I cant wait to use the "asl plz" once again

You know thats the same as saying, Twitter, FB, Tumbler, instagam and many more social networks have ruined BBM? WUT! if you dont like it, dont use it. But dont be upset because other are!

That's awesome. You can have multiple channels/subjects and post articles, pictures, blog etc. to each individual one as they appeal to your subscribers. I can see myself getting some use out of this.

Disruptive Technology! The smartest people among us with learn how to use this tech to their advantage and prosper! Certain businesses will thrive, all will benifit!

I like that you can join a channel by scanning a QR but I want NFC joins. I can see my lady's gallery having NFC tags around so people can bump their NFC capable devices to join her channel(s).

Special event channel put up for an event and deleted after. The mind goes off with the possibilities.

I love it, I think this will become great! Especially with BBM going cross platform. This could possibly become a better instagram, or a contender.

Posted via CB10 using my flick-ity keyboard :D.

Sounds like another social media type application to take up even more time in my life that I don't have.......I'II give it a go for shits and giggles but that's the extent of that action.

Can BBM CHANNEL be installed on the playbook? If not, Why? I'd like an answer from Blackberry. Please!!!

This is a great idea, whether for personal or business. It's either a slimmed down blog, and quick twitter-like post, or something a business can use to promote services / competitions etc.

It needs some love and attention, but as a beta, we shouldn't expect the earth... just to provide constructive feedback to help with future development.

My channel; FWIW is C00045D82 - it's a catchy name isn't it? Hope to see you there. Oh! I can't, but you CAN see me :)

Why not create chat rooms too for bbm? So we don't have to see these "add me" send me nude pic requests threads?

I made a BBM Channel discussing my experiences of life in architecture so far. Come say hi!

Hi I have BBM channels and think it's cool but it will be amazing when officially launched has anyone any idea when that may be??

So basically it's a mixture of bbm,facebook aaaand it's really cool and complicated should be fun can't wait for thhe upgrade :D