BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 - Quick List of New Features

By Adam Zeis on 20 Jul 2009 04:54 pm EDT

Over the weekend it seems like everyone dropped what they were doing and installed the leaked BlackBerry Messenger 5.0. There were some ups and downs over the last few days - some server issues or installation problems - but most seem to be resolved now.  Lets take a quick look at some of the new features in BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 below and roundup some of the most popular forum discussion links.

New Layout

Obviously one of the biggest changes is the new layout/UI (image at top of post). The look has been totally overhauled. You now have the ability to add avatars to users as well. 

Broadcast Message

With the new Broadcast Message feature, you can send the same message to multiple contacts all at once. You simply enter the message, select the contacts to receive it and send away. 

Broadcast Message

Backup/Restore Contact List

In my opinion one of the best features is the ability to backup and restore your contact list. You can choose to backup the list to your device memory or media card, and restoring it is just a few clicks away.

Backup Contacts

User Options

The new user options screen allows you to edit your avatar,  change your status, edit location options and more.



Add Contacts & Barcodes

Adding contacts is easier than before (way easier). You can still add a contact via PIN or email, but now you also have to option of scanning their barcode. Each user is assigned a unique barcode that allows others to easily add to BlackBerry Messenger.


Linking Contacts

You now have the option to link contacts to your address book. The allows you to sync up your contact information with the user in your BlackBerry Messenger contacts, syncing the PIN, avatar and other info.

Linking Contacts

Recent Updates

Clicking the Recent Updates bar on the top of the contact list shows your contacts recent activity, who was added, updated status etc.

Recent Updates

There are other features as well like new emoticons, chat history and most likely some we missed. This is just a quick list of the biggest features of BlackBerry Messenger 5.0. Drop a note in the comments and let us know what we missed.

If you are having trouble with the new BlackBerry Messenger and need to uninstall, check out this forum thread: For those that want old BBM, here's how..

Popular Forum Discussions:

Topics: Apps

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

Reader comments

BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 - Quick List of New Features


hopefully the final version will have it. can't really cast full judgement on this baby till it's officially released.  pleassssssssssse may it have threaded sms though (or just a new sms app altogether.) been running around chicago lately mr. vlk?? :)

well that was my bro featured in the film...i was the man behind the camera (thanks for everything by the way)...ive been running around the suburbs..not chicago...haha

Hahaha! I was made aware of you giving me a little shout out on here so I'd thought I'd pop on a respond. Lots of running around the burbs and Chicago, but the shirt has been staying on...that is, until the next WWYDFABB Storm2 Contest :)

threaded sms is probably implemented in other parts of 5.0, which is why it doesnt work with just bbm. 5.0 will be here soon, hopefully, i'm ready

if your BBM is set up to blink the LED every time a message is received, there is a minor annoyance where if you do not apply focus to the new message and instead enter a message, the yellow arrow on the previous message does not turn clear and LED keeps blinking forever until another message comes from your friend and you apply the focus.

I am loving the new BBM! Just a few minor problems with it stalling but besides that, seems to be working fine. I am sure the official version will be even better.

yeah i like it i just wished that the avatar would show with people who arent your contact. Like regular people on your bbm thats not on your contact list.

you can add your picture to your profile, so i'm assuming when everyone has 5.0 you'll see their pics if they assign one.

It only shows up if there have actually been updates. Have one of your contacts temporarily change their display name and then change it back. It'll show up on your end as a "Recent Update". Once you clear them it goes away until you get another one.

I like the new features especially the barcode scanner cause it shows that the camera on bb is capable of doign alot more than what is already available to it

The recent update bar only shows up when there are recent updates! If there is nothing new going on, then it won't show up.

Have a friend change their status and you should see the bar show up.

i donno i guess i am a fan of the old one.
it looks more like threaded sms and the new 5.0 seems to lag alot with me and sending messages.
i think i am going back to the old one again, i had no gripe against it

You can put your buddy's status on your home screen with an icon... It shows if they are away or available... pretty cool i would say!

When I change status to Busy, BBM still ringing. In older version of BBM the sound was silent, anyone with this issue?

Also, in adress book is showing status (like in GTalk, Yahoo messenger etc).

DPs doesnt work for me ..

alot of bugs , sometimes messages doesnt arrive to the receiver only after 15 mins maybe ..

barcode didnt work ..

Has anybody else noticed this? On my Storm I usually have an average discharge rate of somewhere between 0.5% and 1.5% per hour depending on what I'm doing but with the new BBM it's running at about 4.5% per hour! Fully charged battery this morning and 8 hours later I'm down to 58%. I hope this isn't something that is going to happen with the official release!

I have noticed a massive battery drain suddenly, half way through my day I am down to 40% when I am usually at 80%. I hope its not due to the BBM 5.0 I really like it but I'm not sure.

It absolutely is... i barely get through 8 hrs now with the new bbm.. i use to get a day no problem. I'm deciding on whether or not to uninstall it, but i just love the new features..

did you "Disable Location/Proximity Requests"?
If you open BBM 5.0 and hit your BB button and choose Options, in the Locations section you can disable Location which would stop you from broadcasting your location and using GPS on your phone which in turn could be killing your battery. Give that a try and see if it works.

No mention of QR-Code scanning? That's got to be the single coolest new feature. While you can click on "Add a Contact" and then "Scan invitation barcode from another Blackberry" to add someone to your Contacts, you also use that scanning feature to scan a nearly infinite amount of QR-Codes (see to create your own), or advanced bar codes that can contain phone numbers, web addresses, predefined text messages and text strings.

could some one tell me what "threaded SMS" actually is. i hear the term used alot, but i have no idea what it actually is or does. thanks

If you use UberTwitter it will make @usernames links automatically inside BBM 5.0.
By clicking on a username you can get their timeline or follow/unfollow. Pretty nifty way of integrating the two.

If you use the bar code scanner on the image of the bar code supplied by the post, the phone recognizes it and opens the bb browser to!

I've tried to stick with 5.0 for a while now, but I'm going back to 4.7. 5.0 is laggy, and just flat out doesn't work all the time, which is sort of the point of BBM.

Does anybody know whether there is any difference between the BBM 5.0.8 and the BBM 5.0?

I noticed there are two different versions floating around?

I've been hearing that the delivering problem has been solved, can anybody confirm this?

delivery issues last night, around midnight...messages arriving in the wrong order, or not arriving at all. had 2 convos going, one with someone on 5.0, and one with someone on 4.5, neither worked well.

I think you're confusing Blackberry Messenger 5.0 and Blackberry Desktop Manager


I noticed the same problem Sunday is happening this morning with the confirms. Receiving msgs from others is fine, just sending them is hit/miss.

I tried it and its a sweat app but way to slow...Iam going to wait on the final release...Anyone know where the RIM version is?

Broadcast message feature was on my original BBM 4.5 on my Curve and in BBM 4.7 on my Storm. I don't think this is a new feature.

On the old BBM you could only broadcast a message to contacts that you had an open conversation with. On this new version you can broadcast to whom ever is in your contact list even if you dont have an open convo going.

2 every1 havin issues with bbm 5.0 go 2 your phone options>advanced options>Host routing table hit the bb menu button and click register now

How do i see my wife's avatar when we r chatting? I have an avatar and so does my wife but her's won't show up on mine and vice versa.

Sure to be a shock to some people as they receive their cell bills after out of country roaming - photos go over BBM at FULL RESOLUTION.

This is a massive change.

With the previous version of BBM you could view a picture that was sent during a conversation without saving it. It seems like you can't do that with 5.0. It was a nice feature.

the only thing they did not discuss is the location option. How do you get it to work every post I send and choose the location a message appears that states that it cannot establish a connection. Tha has been my only question but other than that it works great.

Make sure your GPS on your phone is set to ON and you change your Location settings in BBM options. And obviously you need to be outside or in clear view of a satellite for your GPS location to broadcast. Give that a try and see if it works

Can't wait for the final version, checked out the leaked and loved it but went back to the original after having issues with some of my contacts.

hiii I was able to download new BBM...when phone rebooted my BBM icon is missing i went to options and check under apps and BBM version 5 installed...How can i install a Icon..

someone plzzzz help me

I still can't get this POS to install gives me the the desktop software won't find it. Anyone know how to fix this problem?

It seems the OTA install is more sucessful and has less issues. I am also noticing the message delay issue and D and R issue is possibly resolved?!?

i donno if anyone came across this , but i noticed if you swipe your finger to the left on a convo that you have with someone it will ask you if you wanna end the chat.. just thought to post it out there for those who didnt know :)

I hope they put this out for the pearl flip. I was very disappointed when I had to download it for another device and alter my JAVA files to get the sucker going.

I installed the new 5.0 bbm on Sunday but had to take it off because my messages were not being delivered all of the time. Some would take up to an hour to deliver and I never got the confirmation of them being delivered or read. I've read all the post and some say they are still having issues with it. I just want to know if people are still having these issues. i have a storm on Verizon. Thanks in advance.

I had the same issue Sunday morning as well. I think it was a system issue that only had to do with 5.0 or something. I was able to get messages from everyone but couldn't send to those with the old bbm. Worked with my friends who had gone out and gotten 5.0 though. Was weird, I backed everything up and hard reset and its been working fine since.

Are you still using the new bbm or did you switch back to the old version. I just don't want to install it only to have to take it right back off. I'm using the storm on verizon.

Is anyone else having issues sending or receiving messages to users using the old bbm still? I just don't want to put it back on again only to then have to take it right back off. Billy27596, are you still using the new bbm or did you switch back to the old version?