Could BBM alone drive BlackBerry to a brighter future?

BBM
By James Richardson on 17 Aug 2012 01:24 pm EDT
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We all know that RIM is getting stick from the media left, right and center these days and I suppose that even negative press is good as it shows that people still care. What most journalists and bloggers seem to miss out from the majority of posts is that the Canadian company still has around 80 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide and growing. Sure, sales in some regions have plummeted over the last couple of years but with a growing user base RIM are not out for the count.

All eyes will be on BlackBerry 10 over the next two quarters and it will be interesting to see what further features of the new OS RIM are happy to show us before its final release. The subject of RIM possibly licensing BB10 has one again reared its head this week in the press, although as we mentioned here at CrackBerry that is not new news - Thorsten Heins has said all along that RIM will consider many possibilities to ensure that the company succeeds.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is one of those features that RIM has that blows all other instant messaging clients out of the water, and that got me thinking. We know that smartphone users on other platforms would love BBM on their devices and the rumor that RIM will license it tends to pop up every so often. But what if RIM decided to keep it for themselves? Would selling it to other platforms do RIM any good long term?

We all know that BBM is why many of us use a BlackBerry. It is addictive, easy to use, cheap and feature rich. Going back some years a BlackBerry was all about the email. These days email is just a small part of the whole BlackBerry equation. Here in the UK you can't go for a walk down any high street without seeing nearly every teenager using a BlackBerry. Don't get me wrong - it isn't only the hip and trendy youngsters. If you take a commute into London you will see dozens upon dozens of business men and women making good use of their BlackBerry, and it is the same in many countries. With close to 9 million BlackBerry users in Great Britain and 80% of them using BBM I think it is pretty safe to say that BlackBerry is holding its own here. Gone are the days when BlackBerry Messenger was just a messaging client. It has evolved with the times and offers so much more now. An example of this is its integration with other apps. The majority of 'decent' applications for BlackBerry are now BBM connected. This gives users the ability to take advantage of sharing information with friends and when people refer to BBM as a kind of social networking app I can understand their point. I suppose with status updates and the sharing back and forth of information it has become a stand alone social platform - exclusive to BlackBerry owners. This lead me to have a thought - If BBM is so addictive and BlackBerry users can't bear to be without it, will that keep them using the BlackBerry OS?

If that is the case then it means that as the younger generation grow up they will evolve into a nation of BBM adults. If the 'new' young generation continues to adopt the BlackBerry as their communication device of choice then we retain the youth element to team BlackBerry. And if the business people I mentioned also carry on using a BlackBerry when they also grow older we will then have three generations all relying on their BlackBerry as their smartphone of choice. Could this be part of the reason why we may well see a 'comeback' from RIM?

I hope my theory is right. Yes, BlackBerry 10 will be a game changer and I am pretty sure we will get a percentage of iOS and Android users coming back over to BlackBerry in time but winning over those users is not the initial key plan for RIM. The BlackBerry 7 range will still be around for the considerable future and RIM have promised to support those users. If the likes of BBM keeps people using the platform, plus with the addition of the new OS and fresh hardware then I really can't see why the subscriber base shouldn't continue to grow.

Am I barking up the wrong tree here?

Reader comments

Could BBM alone drive BlackBerry to a brighter future?

156 Comments

The biggest problem with BBM is that um well.......you have to have friends who still have a Blackberry!!! I love my 9930, but my BBM is collecting cobwebs because all of my friends have an iPhone or Android.

Its time to take BBM to the next level. BBM is already exclusive, but it should be a social network. It should be more appealing to give people another reason to come back to Blackberry. Include video chat, detailes user profiles, and a website for BBM Music. Come on RIM, you can do it!!

I agree with most of this. I really miss using BBM with all of my friends who now use iPhones. Every one of them that changed from BB said the hardest thing to give up initially was BBM... this is really a group of people that RIM needs to leverage big time.

If BBM is made to be a serious part of the whole BB10 experience I think it will not only bring people back but also ensure that more people don't defect.

Keep it exclusive and bring everyone back. RIM you have a lot of us rooting for you and will help your cause by showing off our new devices!!

BBM should have VIDEO, allow cross platform apps and have a DESKTOP client for PC, just like Windows has MSN Messenger, Google has GTalk and even Apple can FaceTime iOS devises with MacBooks.

This would immediately kill Whatsapp and other cross platform apps that have been benefiting from RIM's lack of vision.

My BBM list keeps shrinking everyday while Whatsapp list keeps growing. Sad truth.

What if BBM could connect with others cross platform messengers app. I could chat with all of my friends (whenever the service that they use) directly into BBM. I just have to create an account in that IM services, download the BBM pluggin, connect it to BBM and its ready to go. Same thing if BBM VIDEO connected with SKIPE. Like this, BBM could stay exclusive to BB and be open to other platform. This way crossplatform app companies will not have to bother with create, maintain, support, improve or update an app for BB because all the UI of BBM is already done. With all of the BBM suscriber connecting their BBM to their service, crossplatform companies will gain in user base to.
I would really like to have a group chat into BBM with some of my Facebook, MSN, KiK and whatsapp contact (my device working as a IM server) all at the same time, instead of switching from one app to an other.
That could be a great base for a global social platform that integer all of the others.

Blackberry knows if they put bbm on other devices it will no longer have its appeal, I miss it too as my torch broke and I am stuck with iphone4s the new blackberrys released. Bbm is one of there selling point's licensing it to other os's would insure no bb10 sales , because most people who will by one like me, miss bbm, and barley have friends who use iPhone or android .... I hate the iPhone, but not as much as I hated my android, that's a garbage os an os.

I Agree, if they allowed others to os's to use it, why would anyone buy a bb10 if they can use it iPhone, it'd keep rim down... I plan to sell my ip4s and android just to own the new blackberry.

Blackberry by choice

Generally I agree. The problem is, how do you make BBM emough to draw people BACK to BlackBerry? I rarely use BBM on my 9930 because just about everyone I know that had a BB have moved on to other options.

Edit: By the way, BBM used to blow every other IM app / function out of the water, but have you seen iMessage lately? Apple blatantly took the best features of BBM and included it in iMessage, and then improved on some of the functions. BBM is great, but it just doesn't stand alone at the top of the hill anymore.

BBM use to blow every other IM app / function out of the water? I beg to differ on this one. BBM still does and always will. I thought iMessage would be fine when I recently tried an iPhone. I soon realized that it didn't have groups, calendars, lists, status updates, or that iMessage is connected to any apps. Only way I could see a difference between regular texting was the blue color. That and a few more things changed my mind and I went back to my Bold 9930. :)

That's the key. BBM isn't enough. BBM was there when those people left RIM.

It wasn't enough to keep them. Besides, other IM programs are just about there with features now. No need for BBM.

0!

I seriously thought of deleting it on my 9900.

Like I did on my 9000 last year :(

(on OS 5 it was easy, on 7 I didn't tried it out ;) )

Since two years I had not more than 3 contacts using BBM, and these don't use it or I don't want to contact them ;)

I probably used only 50% or less of functionality of the lasted BBM version.

Still miss it.

Hate Whatsapp for grapping my contacts data.

BBM is definitely falling behind. It used to be top-notch, but now everything I could do on BBM I can now do on WhatsApp on my Galaxy S2 (except Read notification but who cares about that, delivered is the important one). At first I missed it, but now I don't. If RIM wants to impress, it NEEDS to bring video to BBM + more

...I hear ya...I think that most that say other IM's do as much as or as good a job as...etc.. as BBM were never using BBM to it's full potential..whereas they are using the other IM's to their max...I use BBM everyday for work and my personal use...I have also played with iMessage, WhatsApp etc. and there is no comparison in features and that it can be tied into pretty much any feature loaded app...

BlackBerry Torch 9860 BBOS 7.1
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 2.xx.xxxx

Holy crap dude. Whatsappmyass is still missing a TON of functionality that BBM has. Not even close. It's getting there, but they are not even close yet.

Read notification is the most important feature to me and it is also the most important one for my company. Get real and get Blackberry.

from someone who started on BB os4.7 and has used every iteration thereafter, until 7.1 today, along with having used ios 2-5...

BBM no longer has anyhing going for it, the way it handles media is atrocious.

the stock SMS app for BB handles media sharing 1000x better than BBM, which does nothing but display the file name sent to the recipient, with absolutely no way for the sender to look at the file that has been sent (except for the thumbnail view shown when selecting prior to sending).

literally every time i send a picture (perhaps this is just me) to a contact, we tend to interact about it. when this occurs, i like to reopen the file i sent, so i can see what the recipient is seeing.

THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE ON BBM.

Imessage not only has delivered/read reciepts, it also has group messaging, and handles mdeia sharing in a coherent way that actually makes sense.

when sharing images in IOS thru the messages app, whether it is imessage or sms, when you send an image, it shows in the chat history as a thumbnail. if you tap this thumbnail it opens the media viewer, allows for zooming in and out, and allows the user to swipe back and forth between alll the media files that have been shared during the course of the conversation.

not only that, but imessage has seemless (for the most part) cross platform sync/integration and allows for a quick transition into facetime.

BBM has absolutely none of these features except for group messaging and delivered/sent reciepts.

by all means, i miss using bbm, especially the group feature, as it is a bit more full fledged than imessages group messaging.

however at the end of the day, beside BB having the killer keyboard, imo imessage obliterates bbm in user friendiness, and BBM is just a dying proprietary IM service with a dwindling US user base, who instead of evolving its features to make them compettive, is trying to focus on making it a closed network that fewer and fewer people care about or desire to use.

if BBM was made into an IM+ style app that included things other than BBM and updated the way it handled media sharing it would maybe stand a chance imo, but at this rate its just taking up space on my bb and i get really tired of every app i download trying to connect to this messaging service and display my status like its twitter.

Friends of mine who have android and iphone I just add into BBM anyways and its just an easier way to keep all my actual BBM poeple and text's for those iphone/android users all in one spot.

Exactly the same thing has happened to me! I have 2 or 3 people left on BBM - I loved using it but most of my BBM people went over to I-freaking-phone.

You're exactly correct. And its why BB is all but giving away entry level devices right now. By just getting people on the platform they are building a long term customer base. Customers who will purchase apps, pay for BBM, and ultimately upgrade devices at a later time.

Next quarter's earnings will likely miss expectations to the downside, but what really matters is the number of users BB is able to add.

Also, we have only seen bits and pieces of the new BBM functionality for BB10. Who knows what BB has up their sleeve...

From all ive seen and from family and friends the only reason some people have stuck with bb is not becasuse of BBM but PUSH email this is a patented tech by RIM for isntant delivery of any imap or push enabled service. Any other device claiming it has push is fake and using pull unless paying RIM royalties.

Regardless I from my experience dont see BBM as the catch feature it used to be reason its so big for me is i use it for international family and friends beats calling and international txt rates.The features that have kept me a BlackBerry user are simply PUSH email BBM and the battery life o any maybe the keyboard cant feel right on a touch if RIM didnt have that pretty sure id be somewhere else right now.

BBM shouldn't be the only app that brings people over to BB10. It should be the OS and ecosystem, not a single feature/app.

People don't get iPhone JUST for iMessage. iMessage is GARBAGE, and can do 1/10 of what BBM can do. With that said, RIM needs to bring back customers to BB10, THEN release BBM to Android/iOS with PIN support (that is, register your unique device to receive a unique PIN).

It's funny you say it's garbage because while you might be an expert with BBM, you are definitely no expert with iMessage. Tell me, what's the limit on file sizes on BBM? I know for sure that BBM wouldn't be able to meet the needs of the company I work with because as we scout locations for shoots, we take videos and photos and can post them in a group iMessage chat that all parties receive in FULL HD, no quality loss.

For once someone who posted 1st had an intelligent thought. Brilliant post shemaree09. This is LONG over due for RIM. The fact that we're still talking about this and it will not be available on BB10 still is a disgrace. Those of us who still stand up for Blackberry need to feel like we are a part of it. Step one, LISTEN to us!! WE are your market... WE are your focus. And although most would argue that Push 2 Talk is dead, i feel its one of the ways you can strengthen BBM and grab a hold of a youthful market again. Blackberry needs to also shrink their inventory. You need one super phone (the Bold) ONE super touch screen and an entry level Blackberry LOW END, CHEAP and possibly "FREE". Thats the Curve... make one touch and one keyboard... keep it simple.

Thanks! and I completely agree with you. There are too many devices out there. Your average, non-Blackberry enthusiast isn't keeping up with each device number and its differences.

It would also help people understand that all Blackberry's are not the same. You always have that one person with the crappy cheap Curve complaining how all Blackberry's suck.

I believe it will be a big boost, BBM connected apps was a great idea. Apps that are on all three platforms are different on Blackberry because of BBM. Sharing something on a social site someone can miss but through BBM you know they got it for sure. BBM video chat is also going be great feature. I hope they increase the size limit of files you can send. They're game center along with BBM can also take mobile gaming to another level. BBM is leverage for RIM.

I strongly believe that BB10 will be the os that it should have been years before and then some. Keep improving on the features that they have and work in new features that other smartphones don't have to keep BB from running with the crowd. BB needs excitement to their platform but needs to keep the practicality of the business features. Improve, improve, improve everything and RIM will comeback..

CrackBerry Is My Drug of Choice

I feel that if they did license out bb10 rim would not include BBm. Kind of like the play book, def no data service from rim either.

Well I can they have more bbm users than Facebook users. if rim can implement an amazing ui with some sort of plug-in to bbm for non bbm users, it will be something serious to beat. My answer yes

I love BlackBerry, but I really don't see how BBM is any better than texting. Anyone who I text already has unlimited texting and most do not have a BB. What's so good about BBM?

Can you simply share a song with someone through text? I always catch someone listening to a song in a status update and ask them to send that song over and your apps don't connect through your text

My thoughts exactley; BBM would be far more of use if I could actually send files that are substantially larger than the 6 meg cut off - at the minimum, I'd like to be able to see that file restriction doubled if not tripled. Then it would make it far more advantageous for me.

Then again, I would need to have people on my BBM to be able to use it. From what used to be well over 100, I'm now down to 14, one of which is Blackberry Connexion, one of which lives in my country of Canada, and all the rest live overseas.

BBM offers the same satisfaction you get from a "like" on your facebook status... INSTANT recognition. For that reason, I MUCH prefer it over text

its not that people dont receive the text, its that BBM is instant. you know when it was delivered, received and read. SMS texting cannot do that. it has nothing to do with your, or anyone elses ego, that was one of the dumbest things iv seen on a post. the cost of bbm is also independent of that on your contract, i.e. you dont pay for bbm or any transactions that go through it. also, no, you can share a song with bbm music.

texting is absolute garbage if you have to text internationally try paying 50 cents to a doller per text. o wait BBM is free imagine that solves that delema pretty well.

BBM is free of data charges no matter where you are, US or Europe - no matter - unlike text and email.

I hate to be the one who says this but as much as I want RIM to succeed, they are not trying hard enough to win over application developers. I barely use BBM anymore because everyone I know has an Android or IPhone. So I am forced to use WhatsApp or some other client. But BBM alone will not be the deciding factor on BB10 bringing people back to the blackside. People moved to IOS and Android because they had a wide selection of apps. All new apps are created for Iphone, then android, then sometimes WP and BB gets snippet. But nothing major. Take Instagram for example. No BB client what-so-ever even though blackberrys have great cameras with auto focus. The facebook app is aged beyond usage, you can view anything or make changes as you could on an Iphone. These are just some of the apps that RIM needs to improve otherwise, BB10 will fail as BB7 has. I want them to become popular again. My contract is almost up and I want a new phone over my old Bold 9780 (which is not getting any RIM love anymore), and want to get a new BB10 phone. Just hope they dont let me down when it comes to application support.

You've been reading the wrong posts. Devs are flocking to the BB10 OS. Events are always being sold out for tickets and event dates are always being added to the tour.

Ahh.. There you are. I missed you, young lady. Speaking of overrated... Skype, Netflix. I used to work with over 800 people. I can't recall any of them talking about either Skype or Netflix. I currently work with a few hundred: same thing. It's not to say no one wants it, but to keep barking about Skype and Netflix being the keys to BB's recovery... b*tch, please.

How about ESPN, ABC, TNT, TBS, SHO, NBC, PBS or any of the major networks streaming apps? What about WSJ, CNN, ABC, CNBC, FOX, USA Today, or any of the major news apps? How about Instsgram with it's 80 million users. BB platform is missing out on many (most) of the major top apps.

We can all collectively go through the apps we like that are not on the BB platform and then come up with a host of apps missing from the BB Apmoshere. BB is missing quite a few apps, but does that make BB10 devices inferior? It's like thinking about buying a luxury car and then complain there are no side view mirror indicators. All platforms have failings. If anyone believes otherwise they are clowns.

I soley moved from my Torch 9850 to the iPhone because of the convenience of messaging with my wife, kids, and friends. Almost all have iPhones. Most of the apps iPhone has, I really don't need. I also think that my BlackBerry was much more efficient at handling data. If BBM was available on other platoforms. I would switch back immediately to Blackberry.

Just my 2 cents here but I love that BBM is BlackBerry only. I still have 100s of BBM contacts and 9 BBM groups, the smallest being 12 ppl.

Yaa! I voted for you. I love how you guys are using playbooks for your kiosks! Here's to the next generation of developers who know a gold mine (bb10) when they see it!

"If that is the case then it means that as the younger generation grow up they will evolve into a nation of BBM adults. If the 'new' young generation continues to adopt the BlackBerry as their communication device of choice then we retain the youth element to team BlackBerry. And if the business people I mentioned also carry on using a BlackBerry when they also grow older we will then have three generations all relying on their BlackBerry as their smartphone of choice. Could this be part of the reason why we may well see a 'comeback' from RIM?"

No - because the majority of the growth in the UK (which you used as an example) has been on throw away cheap as chips curves on PAYG - from what can be seen in market share and user-trends as soon as the teenagers increase their disposal income or indeed have some disposal income you have churn and they switch to android/iphones. The only people who seem to stick around in large numbers are those with low or no disposal income - which is why when people think of someone with a blackberry in the UK, they no longer think of an accountant, they think of someone smashing a TV shop window in a riot.

The fact of the matter is that BBM couldn't drive a bus full of nuns to the Vatican. It is an IM app, and only an average one at that. Plenty of chat apps on all the major mobile platforms can do what most users need. I used to have 63 contacts on BBM. Now I have 2, and actually chat with 1 regularly. The rest have migrated to other platforms, and I chat with them mostly through SMS. The whole idea that people are going to flock back to RIM because of BBM is assinine, and indicative of the type of thinking that got them into the mess they're in to begin with. Consumers are fickle and they certainly are not going to stay with, or come back to, RIM because of a chat app. What RIM needs is for BB10 to be an advanced and stable OS and an ecosystem and developers to support it.

While I agree with most of what you stated I also disagree about BBM. Instagram has 80 million users and growing and all it does is share pictures with added filters. BBM can grow so much more. Add full blown video and audio chat and it can go to the next level. Remove fill size transfer limitations and watch it grow more. Add the ability to follow celebrity BBM accounts (a la twitter) and watch it grow. But then again that is up to RIM. You can post FB and Twitter updates to BBM, but for some ridiculous reason you can't post to FB or Twitter from BBM. Many people miss BBM. And once RIM takes it to the next level and provides a good BB10 user experience, they can draw some users back.

I don't think bbm alone can do this. It depends on what rim wants to do with bbm, if its to make money off it then yes license it because people aren't gonna make the switch to BB just for bbm.

At work most people have BB the majority because its a free unit the company gives out.
But the majority ( at work ) also don't even use bbm they feel its a kids style instant messager, they'd rather use email on their BB.

I've had 8 BBM contacts at one time but they always end up text messaging and not using BBM.

The blacker the berry the sweeter the use...

I hate the BBM conected features, Every time it wants to add something to BBM the access control comes up and asks if I am sure I want to do this. It reminds me of VISTA UAC all over again.

More of a pain than anything

I understand the power of BBM for blackberry brand, but for me the real power of blackberry is the real time push notification and secure closed environment. that was what made me bought mine. what made people got addicted to blackberry is not the BBM or anything, but the constant "ping" made by the notifications. Someone BBM you, then you got mentioned on twitter, and you want to post some pictures to facebook, oh and there are emails you haven't read nor replied yet, and you got a message again on BBM, oh your tweet got mentioned again, and then you arrived at a place you want to check in on facebook, then you remember you haven't replied your girlfriend's text because she texted you again saying she's mad at you because you ignored her text (lol), and so on.

that's what make people can't put their blackberry away from their hands. that's the real power of blackberry. wait..did I just exposed the secret sauce to competitors? XD oh well I hope RIM already have tons of patents about it lol.

one more important thing for me is the way my facebook status looks when I update it from my blackberry. The blackberry icon looks very good on my newsfeed (i hope RIM can fix it so that the icon can show up too on timeline).

BBM? it's just an exclusive messenger I have on my blackberry (which if it's available on ANY other device/platform it will no longer be exclusive. it will be just a messenger like every other messenger apps). But I have whatsapp, ym, gtalk, etc too for my non blackberry user friends. and you know what, mostly I'm using BBM for file sharing between me and my friends now :p

There are several reasons that I am still using BB. There are
1) Push mail, fast and easy BUT in this day, the function and capable of BB mail client is so weak. comparing to other OS.
2) Battery life, due to small screen and not touch screen, it makes me happy using BB all day long without 2nd time charging beside night time charge. But the new one (9900) is so disappoint ! Battery life is so short, shorter than previous models.
3) Physical Keyboard. Finally, this is the only STRONG point of BB that I am still not able to find any weak points right now.

NO BBM in my list, mostly of my IM usage is Whatsapp, even performance of it, comparing to BBM in BB phone is only around 75% of BBM but if only for text massaging purpose, it is enough. Especially Cross-Platform ability.

SO please RIM, I love BB, don't wanna see it getting rune. Please focus on the right direction.

??? I have had a blackberry for 8 years and have never used BBM once. My friends don't have BB or those that do don't see to use BBM either. I would say at this point that BBM is not superior to iMessage, as it has caught and surpassed BBM.

provided i am jailbroken, and use BITE SMS...

i have display pictures on my imessage.

it also has group messaging.

it just handles groups in a different way than BBM

instead of having to approve ppl into the group and deal with the headache of being readded everytime u have to reinstall ur OS (u know like once a month on a BB) imessage allows u to join as many people as you want into any coversation at anytime.

its quite simple really, allows for sending media too.

not sure where ur info is coming from

yes a poor rip off that has a 200mb+ file size limit as opposed to bbms 6mb

a poor rip off that has much simpler group messaging that doesnt require admins to join..(yes the exclusivity can be nice, but for every day users its a pain in the ass)

a poor rip off that has both delivery and read reciepts, plus the option to turn them off.

a poor rip off that seemlessly integrates with sms.

a poor rip off that syncs across all devices and allows for the pick up of convesations on your computer.

a poor rip off that handles sharing media in a coherent way that actually makes sense and doesnt remind you of 2005.

have you used imessage? or are u just talking out your ass?

Your comment is a joke because you are trying to say that BBM is not superior to iMessage when you even admit that you have never used BBM once. SO HOW DO YOU KNOW??

Unfortunitly not, bbm has nothing to offer that other ims have. Sorry but bbm is outdated and very generic like all the other ims. Once again rim lets the compition catch up and level playing field. Even with video chat, other platforms have their own or skype so no advatage their. Bbm was noval and great 5 years ago. No its lost amoung the countless others.

I couldn't disagree more, BBM is no longer just an IM client, it's a social network in its own right. Add to it the integration with all other social networks, integration with apps etc and you have a very powerful mobile social network.

I don't think it's possible for anybody in US to get that right now, but in UK, it's a different story.

For bb users I totally agree with you. For ex bb users like myself and other os users, its nothing more then an after thought. I for one dont miss it, I use whats app and kik on my android and couldnt be more happy. Other then groups bbm has nothing above the two i use. Also i actually find the integration of social feeds and apps on android better then on a bb, even more when it comes to photo sharing. So no i dont see bbm saving rim alone, not in a long shot.

I haven't used BBM once since getting my 9930 last Dec. All of my friends/family either have iphones or simple flip phones. Bummer.

Are u from 2009? I live in nirthern ca. I know 3 blackberry users. One is my non tech savvy dad who sees it as nothing more than a phone that accesses facebook, and my mom and a coworker. Both of which are dying to switch to ios and android because their crapberrries fail them repeatedly. Moms womt scroll, coworkers wont send sms...the list goes on.

I think bbm is great. With apps like bbm music and other intergrated bbm apps ive been able to build a community of friends and groups. i have a sports group and music group and from what i have read video chat will be coming soon. I have seen what iphone and android can do and if you are big on games have fun. BBM alone is enough for me to stay with blackberry phones. Most ppl have no clue of the tool that they have in there hand. Being able to share files, photos, links etc., all in one place. I have seen friends leave and comeback to BB cause they missed BBM. I am looking forward to the improvements on BB10 it will only get better.

I wouldn't say BBM is useless, I would say it's a great communication tool. It's all about who you talk with, I'm a teenager and I have 142 contacts in my BBM list. Switching to iPhone or Android with whatsapp, facetime, Skype or Whatever will not be the same, here in Colombia everyone has BlackBerry because everyone is talking with friends all the time, something you won't find on any other service. But now people is switching fastly to other operating systems because the slow innovation in BlackBerry Smartphones, because the majority of people don't know bb10 is coming, for me BBM is a huge advantage.

diddycarter yep..I totally agree..BBM is great and it's one of the reasons I bought a bb in the first place..but I want more from rim..am sure if they add video to BBM..it would be highly appreciated and people will switch back to blackberry...I once had an iphone
.but I regretted spending nearly 700dollars just to play angry birds..the facetime was good though...my pin is 22E560E0

"Thorsten Heins has said all along that RIM will consider many possibilities to ensure that the company succeeds." I think this right here tell us a lot about why RIM is failing. The goal of Thorsten is to make the company successful, not create breath taking products, not enable new completely new industries to flourish, not design the most amazing devices, no its to MAKE the company successful. This lack of vision, and corporate thinking will kill RIM. Apple VP "Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products."

Even if you love BBM, most of your friends, if you're not a teenager, live outside of Canada and don't work in finance, will be using another system. These other system improve fast and are almost as good as BBM, so I don't think people will stick around for BBM.

The exception could come from teenagers. Many are still hooked on BBM, but now carry 2 phones. A cheap BlackBerry for BBM and an Android or iOS phone for the apps and games. With BB10, those teenagers could go back to using solely a BlackBerry, but it will really depend on the success of AppWorld, because right now, most new apps are released on the 2 main OS only and that makes the other platforms more exciting to use.

I used to BBM my siblings all the time until my brother got a Galaxy SII and my sister moved to NYC and doesn't have BBM included in her data plan. For months, I didn't use BBM until a week ago when I finally convinced my non-tech savvy partner to download BBM onto his phone. What RIM needs are video calls and a client for PC. RIM isn't in the PC market so having a PC client wouldn't hurt their business and it'll bring more users to BBM.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA! So wait is Crackberry now preparing and or advising to license? When Crackberry Kevin should of been lobbying for that all along? There is nothing wrong with licensing Android does it and look where they are! Better hope the ship hasn't sailed!!

BBM users in Asia are also a lot and BB users over there choose BB
because of BBM cost much cheaper than text message.
For ex. in Indonesia, cell phone provider has BBM plan for only about US$10 monthly.
I think this is the problem why BBM is not famous in USA.
The cheapest BBM plan in US available is from Boost Mobile which cost US$45.
If RIMM can work closely with cell phone provider in US, knocked down
the price for BBM only plan, let's say for US$20 monthly, I bet lots of people
will come back to use BB just because of BBM reason.

Sadly, most (read "all") of my friends have switched to iPhone or Android. Please don't tell me to get new/better friends...I've heard that one before...it's old, tired and not as funny as you think...and my friends are just fine, thank you.

I could delete BBM today and I wouldn't notice any difference in my BB usage. Making BBM cross-platform would be nice and a desktop app would be great too; then I could ditch Google Talk.

This isn't a slam, I love my 9900 and will be getting the BB10 qwerty as soon as TMO releases it, but I'm in the minority, not only among my friends, but also around town. I've only seen a handful of 9900s in the wild; still see a number of older BBs (9700 etc..), but mostly iPhones and Androids. Yes, I live in the US and don't work in a corporate environment, so that makes a difference, but it doesn't change the fact that my 9900 stands out like a shining star in a dull gray cloud of iPhones and Androids (which doesn't bother me one bit).

I'm pulling for RIM and hope BB10 rocks! (I really don't want to switch to Android)

@dunaway

As nice as app integration is, the main and only essential feature of a messaging app is - messaging.

I have one friend left at BBM. ALL others moved over to other platforms. I dislike giving my phone number and address book access to Whatsapp, but with W. I can reach ALL of my friends, even those who use Symbian.

RIM: allow developers to produce BBM clients for other platforms, maybe with a feature range limited to messaging only. Then the full scope BBM app on BB will attract users to (re)join BB.

I will definitely advertise for BBM/BB within the circle of my friends, but this will only work if BBM works on other platforms. As long as BBM stays proprietary, it will not drag a considerable number of new users.

BBM would need to add features simular to Instagram and have an multiple photos / album also video chat and more to hold people to it. I love it and keep it because I have friend and family all over the world I stay in touch with.

Not a bad idea at all. People (especially women and teens) love to take pics and post to BBM. If BBM is to become a social platform (smart move), it might be good to take key features from other platforms.

Please do inform me how "teens and women" (great assumption there, btw) "post pics to bbm"?

Bbm is not twitter.

Do you know what bbm is?

Whats App has taken all platforms by storms....its making BBM look stale now.
No bbm cant pull the RIM through.

No BBM is A feature, albeit a powerful exclusive one. It does not make a platform and don't allow RIM to even hope it does.
RIM must keep working on the whole experience. All areas of the platform need to be competitive not just an I'm client.

I don't know can it? I've never used BBM as the PlayBook is the only Blackberry device I have owned and it doesn't have it.

I have used Whats App before because it allowed messaging over many different devices. Blackberry, Android, iOS, and Windows Phones also right?

Whatsapp is a waste of time honestly. Sorry unless you do R and D, ya just ain't ready.

For business I don't want excuses from work mates, oh I didn't see the message, it never came thru, I never read it.

BBBaller

I have posted here a few times in the past, and this specific post is aimed at Crackberry Kevin. While most folks love and adore BBM, it really can't stop today's consumer from leaving the BB device.

The fact is in today's marketplace, consumers want to feel good about the brand they are associated with. I own a 9900 and 5 other BB's before this device, IMO, for what i need..it cannot be beat. However, the BB brand, the actual image, perception of the technology... is the worst in North America, hands down the worst brand in all of business.

The WSJ ran an article where it interviewed folks who carry two devices -Image vs email. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044343750457754692245033357...
These people walk with the android or iphone, just so they will not be mocked for having a crappy BB device. When they want to send that email, or read the PDF, they turn to the BB. That article highlights the issues with this company. Yes, Rim was slow to embrace the mobile web and poorly handled the evolution of the mobile consumer, but the new devices are not even behind as some of the bloggers and and tech reporters will tell you. BB10 is coming, and it can be stellar, fantastic..it may even float in mid air...BUT, it will get downgraded because of the brand and the "lack of innovation" legacy.

On the other end is Apple, a fantastic marketer, with a super strong brand: folks lined up for the 1st iphone, it was not even fully done. The iphone 4 had antenna issues ( death grip), yet still sold the most units. That brand is stellar and the stores are full and the users buy the products regardless of price or reliability. Don't get me wrong here, Apple does make good products, but when it comes to a smartphone, they are not quite the best ( best mobile device, maybe).

The point i make in this post is: The Blackberry Brand is in horrible shape and asking one device to fight against that perception is a losing strategy...#lostcause:

Solution, create a stronger image, prop up the image and the promise of innovation,highlight the cool features and hammer home the key value points: most notably, who and why BB exists. In other words, make the brand matter again. People will flock to a winner and shun a perceived loser. Spend, no Invest actual money to address all of the negative digs and reinvent a new story for the Blackberry: Lest we forget, Apple did it after nearly going bust in 1998.

Kevin, let RIM know that the market is pulling for them, however...if the marketing strategy is the same (low key) .."let the phone do the talking" fare.....kiss this fight over. Want to see how a winner fights? Check out the most recent Samsung marketing efforts ( they are fighting uphill vs Apple and doing a great job)

The first thing Thor said when hired to lead RIM was that he needed a world class CMO, chief marketing officer. That has been done and all signs are pointed to a globally coordinated aggressive marketing push for BB10. Up to now, marketing has been fragmented and weak.

BBM is really the best messenger application. all that RIM has to do is to innovate. look at Skype, it is only a meesenger but most of us wants Skype on our phones, tablets and computers. that means, if BBM really did offer something new, most people would want BBM installed on their phones. However you will only taste a small portion of the BBM app if you are not using a BB phone. You must be with BlackBerry to enjoy the full functionality of BBM.

I live in Southern California and not 1 of my friends or family members has a BB. A couple friends had BBs but gave them up a couple years ago for iPhones. I'm the only holdout.
Most people here want the latest and greatest tech. Sadly to say BB is neither the latest or greatest in most people's mind nowdays.

When I brought BB8800, within six months I had like 70+ people in BBM contact list.

Groups from my sports team to my lab partners.
But now, I have to rely on facebook or gtalk.
I really don't like google and facebook playing with my personal data.

But BBM has lost it's charm due to stereo type attitude of being a message only device hence android/ iOS has become common among my friends.

I agree RIM should licence BBM to iPhone and Adroid they could sell the app for $10 and Free if you have blackberry...

sorry i wouldnt pay .99 for it with all the other ims out there. Bbm has nothing of vast superiority over the others. So you got to be joking putting a 10 doller price tag on it. Wont sell. I personally believe Rim quitly already shopped licencing it to iphone and android and they said thanks but no thanks. Especially now when they bleeding till bb10 comes out, you can bet they would of licenced it out by now, sadly no takers with other great ims out their. Funny how Hiens is going to licence bb10 but not bbm, yeah right i wouldnt be surprised if bb10 dosnt ship with bbm as they might have same problems with qnx bbm integration.

Liquid_Revolver is such a negative troll I wonder how people in his life put up with him. Oh well. To each his own.

Look, BBM isn't enough for people to give up their iPhones and come back to Blackberry. It just isn't, most of my family has iPhones, I'm the lone hold out. The iPhone was enough to move people, then they will use iMessage or whatever Apple gives them. Would anyone move just to get the Blackberry hardware & OS? At the current time, no. Even with BB10, it won't be easy.

So if that's the case, why / how could I use BBM?

Option 1: Port BBM to other platforms. If you did this, what's the reason for moving to Blackberry then? Almost none. This is a dangerous move, unless you make other platform BBM's crippled. But then you'd just give people a bad impression of BBM

Option 2: Make BBM talk to other messaging services. That means I could keep using BBM and other users could keep using their phone and we'd still communicate. At least until they realized how much better BBM is and move over once their contract was up. The only catch is, would other people, e.g. Skype, iMessage, etc. open up their API's to others?

I'm actually thinking of making the move when bb10 comes out and I'm Android all the way. Bought the gf a PlayBook and am really impressed with the OS - enough to consider switching.

BBM is definitely a great platform for communication. So much so that every person who expects to have an hour long chat ends up using a blackberry. I use mine just for the BBM. For everything else I have an iPhone. Why ? because I love the way it feels.. BBM alone cant drive Blackberry to a brighter place ! They need to have a flawless platform teamed up with a super splendid hardware architecture. They need to know that the youth is not all scared to shell out $700-$800 for a mobile phone. especially with the carriers will to give a contract. Blackberry has always been only about communication. Make it about the fun, thats one important reason for success !!
Cheerio.!

yeah sure, i believe we all have so many bbm contact and although we buy a new phone such as android or iphone, we will never leave blackberry due to the number of the bbm contact. it seems like if we leave it, we will lose so many friends and it is very difficult for us...
For blackberry 10, in my personal opinion, keep re-touch the blackberry messenger without delete the primary feature in these days.re-touch the appearance and add new crucial feature will make user feel happy.and do not forget to change all appearance blackberry 10 to the new operating system which makes people happy to see it such as new themes,new menu and plus new feature..for hardware,big screen resolution is a must in order to prevent blackberry user migrate to android which is the biggest percentage of phone nowadays..
especially i hope from battery, we need it at least for 2 days full usage...

I have 72 contacts on BBM and keep deleting most of them. I'm so glad video chat is coming to BBM. I wouldn't care for Skype then.
BBM should be exclusive to blackberry users only. Period.

Look I'm not bashing RIM here, I love blackberry and will stay for BB10 but BBM is not an exclusive feature anymore. Apples imessage is just as good if not better, its integrated into the sms application and detects whether the other person has an iphone or not automatically making messaging more efficient, BBM requires users to add anothers PIN/username and is not integrated into the text messages app , yes I know you can make the BBM app accomodate for both sms's and BBMs but its not the same and not as simple/efficient as imessage. It also doesn't help when BBM has such a small userbase COMPARED to Apple etc. I have had a blackberry for about 8 months now and am 20 years old and everyone I know has iphones, I have never used BBM. I'm not saying I represent the majority of blackberry users at all, of course many many people use BBM everyday but what I'm saying is that anyone can pick up an iphone and is guaranteed to have at least several imessage friends/users whilst someone can pick up a blackberry and there's quite a large possibility that the person will never use BBM or at least until they meet someone who they message who also has a blackberry. Anyone agree with me or am I just gonna get bashed for my 2 cents? Ahaha

Your 2 cents would be worth something if you had actually used BBM. Since you have never used something, how can you compare it to something else. If you actually used it, you will see that iMessage is not as good as or better.

Unfortunately bbm wasnt enough to keep our school district to stay with blackberry. As of next week we are all moving to iphones. I for one is gonna miz bbm and they keypad.

Ever loyal to RIM, and my BlackBerry is my third appendage and best friend. I manage my whole life with my device, and ironically, I have never used or had a use for BBM. From my vantage, I wish for purist reasons a BlackBerry technology remain a BlackBerry only technology. If it is a real important prospect for company growth, then maybe there's not really a choice in the matter.

BBM could have a brighter future or brightest future if and only if it would be licensed to all willing smart phone manufacturers like what we are seeing with Android OS. Android OS is so visible to all major phone manufacturers. Of course the blackberry users like me would be furious if this will happen, but if we are asking about how bright it could be in the future it is the only way or is it?

Despite of having the bbm on blackberry, why most of the people shifts? I also ask the same question. And i realized i was owning an iPhone and currently a motorola razr maxx is because of the following:

1. iPhone - cool apps / siri
2. Motorola Razr maxx - cool apps / huge battery capacity (dumped my stupid iPhone because of this razr maxx phone)
3. My friends are into PATH & VIBER / SKYPE and i am out of the loop whenever they are talking about shits in this platform.

Currently im juggling my 9810 and razr maxx , but i wonder if having a bb10 can put me in the loop of conversation with my friends whether they own a blackberry or not.

It could!!! They need to find a way to make it even bigger!!!
I think that integration with other platforms would be interesting.

OKay so after reading a lot of the comments over here, I just wanted to give my own opinion

First of all, BlackBerry Messenger is definitely the best IM app/social network. iMessage has not come anywhere near it, due to the combination of the "Solidness" and "snappiness", the amazing user interface, as well as the physical keyboard on BlackBerry Smartphones. iMessage does not have status updates. You cannot customise your name, the smilies are not half as good, and you cannot type them out. Plus, BlackBerry Smartphones are WAY easier to use when it comes to chatting with several people. Undoubtedly, BBM is the best IM application.

Therefore, BBM should remain on BlackBerry Smartphones, ONLY.

It does, however, need some updates&new features, for example, video calling as well as voice calling. This would definitely boost BBM to a whole new level.

Other than that, BBM CAN FREKKIN SEND CHAT HISTORY AND SAVE IT. This has always saved me from explaining a long fight, break up, or any such thing to a close friend of mine. On top of that, you can PING!!! someone. You can't do that on any other mobile IM app. It really helps

You can show what you're listening to, and BBM Groups also work like a charm

I recently moved from Pakistan to England, and I have 50+ contacts in both countries, giving me a total of 100+. BlackBerry devices have definitely not died and will not die. I manage to manage my entire social life through my BlackBerry, and I always convince people to buy one instead of an iPhone.

For me, my BlackBerry does not have cooler apps than an iPhone, it does not have a better display, or more features, but...

I use my device primarily for communication, and there is not one device available which does it better than my BlackBerry, I even prefer to use it over the laptop.

"OKay so after reading a lot of the comments over here, I just wanted to give my own opinion"

That is not your own opinion, that is the opinion of every fanboy, regardless how good or bad BBM objectively really is.

ok lets be honest here i use an iphone and i use a blackberry i use a blackberry only for bbm and iphone just for my day to day use i have tried live profile whats app hookt imessage aka half ass IM app still nothing compares to BBM which is why im holding onto my bb until the end or if some odd reason apple pulls a revamp of IM and make it a full blown IM messaging app but even then prolly still wont compare to bbm lets face it man nothing is like bbm or has replicated the joy of using bbm

I love my Blackberry, but I've never used BBM because nobody else I know has a Blackberry. I don't think people are going to be drawn to the platform because of a messaging service, especially when you consider how tied to Facebook everyone is. BB10 really needs to be evolve beyond whatever is currently offered in order to achieve a brighter future.

I think the BB10 - BBM combination is a winner, but I also think BBM should be raise to the next level (just like the future OS) to accomplish this.

I think that someone needs to make a cross platform messaging service, BBM is all most dead (from 130 contacts at peak I now have about 45), iMessage is stupid and pointless since its basically texting. I hate Whatapp its gross lol

Tell the folks in India, England and other parts of Europe, where BBM is doing quite well, that BBM is almost dead.
.
People need to stop being so ethnocentric.

So many people are "jumping ship" going to other plat forms, giving BBM to others would just fuel this trend. RIM would have to make as much money licensing BBM out to each phone as it would selling their own headset. (This is so they wouldn't loose money)

Simple answer: no! BBM isnt going to gain market shares if they license it. People wont use it without a rim specific dataplan+pin, as paying for such a thing on eg an android phone is out of the question. The only way this will work is if they license the service to service providers, make it IMEI specific instead of PIN specific, and incorporate it in regular data plans close to gratis.

My contention with BBM is quite simple. Similar to another post on here, I had a BlackBerry but never used BBM because none of my friends used it either. If you don't know anyone who uses it, then they can add all the features to BBM they want and they won't make a bit of difference. There is no value in a feature rich IM app that is used by very few people and is proprietary to only one mobile platform.

I think what they need to do is come out with a device much like the ipod touch. Basically a blackberry with everything but a cellular network. You could get the kids using it mostly to communicate with bbm and then as they get older hopefully they are used to using your device and will stick with it.

Apparently it is the younger generation they need to attract.