CrackBerry Asks: Do you think we'll see a rise in big brands using BBM Channels now it's cross platform?

BBM Channels
By James Richardson on 10 Mar 2014 04:13 am EDT

For us folk on team BlackBerry having BBM Channels isn't a new concept, but for our friends on iOS and Android it's still pretty fresh for them. We posted recently that the likes of Coke and the Olympic channels had seen a big increase in subscribers since Channels was introduced to iOS and Android in BBM 2.0 and that's great news. When BBM rolls out to Windows Phone and the forthcoming Nokia X range of phones it's only going to become more mainstream - I hope. 

But I'm wondering how big Channels will get. With BBM growing once again it's the perfect way for big name brands to share their news with subscribers for free. Wouldn't it be great if in the future when we see companies advertising they also include their BBM Channel PIN as well as their website, Twitter, Facebook etc? 

Do you think we will see a surge in the number of big name brands joining BBM Channels? Hit up the following poll and let us know your thoughts? 


Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Do you think we'll see a rise in big brands using BBM Channels now it's cross platform?


I don't think it's interactive enough for major brands.
You look at the comments made in most of these channels, it's dumb ass people, wanting to promote own pins, or guys who are looking for girls.

Channels still needs an overhaul.
Videos should open within the channels and not opening up another browser. Same applies to articles.

Channels is unique, if fine tuned definitely has the potential to be a great money making machine for BlackBerry.

Posted by the Crackberry Pirate

Agree. I haven't been in channels for a while because for every comment that was adding to the discussion, there were ten idiots just advertising their channels. I may check it out periodically to see if it gets better.

Posted via Z30

This. Tired of every asshole and their offspring asking for pin adds and harassing women in completely off topic posts. Not going to single out any one country but seems to be a habit.

Posted Via my second Z10

Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to go cross platform. Now every weirdo out there can use and Abuse it. It will become full of junk just like the rest of the Internet!

Posted via CB10

The situation was the same on BBOS app reviews in the app store, BB10 app reviews is almost as bad. More than half of the comments are one star or five stars "PIN:xxxxx please add me, only ladYs under 21 pls"

@OJ...fine tuning is a must...go to the Lululemon channel and I see a ton of freeloaders trying to get in on the action,then go to the Maple Leafs Channel and it is great,only Leaf stuff.

Agreed with the fine tuning but all of the waste of space comments are from Channel owners not policing their own posts. Those can be taken out and users can be blocked, etc. As part of the fine tuning, i'd like to see BlackBerry five the ability to automatically block comments that have another channel pin in them. That would help cut down on the mess while allowing such comments to still be posted when appropriate.

Posted via CB10

They did block channel PINs from comments, maybe they still are (but then, some channels were set up entirely for sharing PINs. and people got around it anyway--just append an underscore or some punctuation.)

If they could truly enforce it, though, I'd like to see it as an option/toggle left to the channel owners, like moderating comments.

I hear ya'll, but you have to consider that the Pin Spamming is a good thing, FOR NOW. It's a NEW Social Media Outlet, therefore people are trying to get recognized. It just means people are excited. Besides, what other way do we have to truly get our Channels out there? Eventually it will die down once everyone is on it. So I wouldn't worry too much about this aspect of it. But everything else said, is on point.

Posted via CB10

I would agree they need to be more interactive. Perhaps what is needed is to give the channel owners more tools to engage with their users/fans.

One example would be making terms searchable not just channel names, example being the hashtag # or something similar that can be used to search within comments and channel interactions. These identifiers could be used in brand advertising online, TV commercials, etc.

Absolutely, when Disney launched their own channel, how many did I come across with the same name? Dozens or so. Gave up trying to find out which one was legit.

Search also could be far better when the legitimate companies come first in the search. Also channels show search results, that have closely resembled names, with slight variance in the spelling. Whilst this is good, if you are not sure how to spell the channels you are looking for, but it shows too many channels with slight variances in names, again making it more difficult to sift through.

I love BBM Channels, because I can see where it can be great, but still has some work to do. Biggest issue is spammers on these sites.

Posted by the Crackberry Pirate

For sure. Why not?

Good advertising will use all routes to advertise their brand.

Pepsi: 'Coca-Cola is advertising on BBM?'
Pepsi: 'Damn, they one upped us there. Damn, we can't do anything about it.'

Of course.

Posted via my Z30.

It will take some time but if people try it, they will love it!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Not really, bbm with voice and channel just too heavy for average android device or even  legacy, too laggy and many delay, I am not sure noxia x can handle it as smooth as bb10 device. Honestly its only optimum for bb10 and highend android device and iphone 5

Posted via CB10

No one will react. We know this dude here. That's just his way. And he's got a p(o)int.

Not enough people know about BBM, at least here in Australia.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

Troll, I like that.

Prem gets my p(o)int :)

Outside BlackBerry users, x-platform or not, none of my contacts have made the switch. They use Whatsap, and in their minds have no need for "another" multiplatform message "app".

It is an uphill battle for anything BlackBerry with that crowd.

I know BBM is better. You might as well, but how to get that across to the Sheeple's?


Actually I agree with this comment. I don't think bbry is doing enough to get BBM out there. When I ask people about BBM they say eeeehhhh I already have whatsapp so why do I need another messenger. BBM needs to get the msg out there why BBM is superior to Whatsapp and other competitors especially in the backdrop of the 19 billion deal. If BBM doesn't seem to have skin in the game no body will except BBM fans and that's a finite base whether u like in or not.

Posted via CB10

BBM has great consumer engagement/participation possibilities for the major brands.
They would be foolish not to utilise this opportunity.

Posted via CB10

If they play their cards right. As I said before, blackberry should make BBM available for PC/Mac/Linux so we could have cross platform communications and data sharing, fast and securely for free. If they can do that, I could see BBM really taking off for not only consumers but businesses alike.

Posted via CB10

Definitely there is opportunity although I do suggest the improve searching for channels or at least by categorisation in addition whenever receiving a reply we should go straight to it rather than navigating and finding it!

Posted via CB10

I think there is opportunity and potential. But in order for channels to take off BlackBerry and BlackBerry both need to increase popularity.

I have a few friends who installed bbm on ios or Android devices, but they continue to SMS. The only ppl who seem to bbm are the friends with BlackBerry devices.

Posted via CB10

A small portion of today's smartphone users know what BBM is. An even smaller portion of these people have BBM installed. An even smaller portion of those people actively use BBM. Yet an even smaller percentage of those people know what BBM channels are. And fewer people than that care about/use BBM channels. So no, it's never going to be mainstream.

Lol, I'm not sure 80,000,000 users is small but I agree that it's not likely to take off. At least not in North America. For one it's buggy, lags and doesn't load comments to often.


80 million is pathetically small when in 2012, approximately 2 years ago, the number of smartphones in use hit 1 billion (or in other words 1000 million). Smartphone circulation has grown exponentially. It's predicted that in 1 years time we will hit 2 billion (2000 million)*, and by 2017 it will be 9 billion (9000 million)**.

And yet it's not even 80 million. Of those 80 million, I doubt even a tenth use BBM channels. So yes, there is absolutely no chance BBM Channels will take off. I mean, BBM itself isn't taking off, how the fuck is channels going anywhere.



At last someone speaks the truth. This is what bbry needs to focus on. They need to get the msg out that BBM is a force to reckon with and that job should not be left to the user base because that can be a double edged sword.

Posted via CB10

Voted "for sure" while I know adoption will be a slow process and will depend on social (editor) platforms adoption. Scroon (recently acquired by BlackBerry) is perfect for that, hopefully many competitors will also push in that direction, leading to an effortless publication into channels. We need that before Channels become a "natural" social media and accordingly raise its audience.
Hope we'll have some news about it soon.

Maybe if they get Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and the Biebz on Channels. That should do the trick

Posted via CB10

If BBM Channel has to succeed, they have to go desktop, yes, not everyone likes to dig in mobiles and write articles or stuff.

James... exactly why is it "the perfect way" for brands to connect with consumers?

You really need to back up such strong claims with equally strong facts and analysis.

Posted via CB10

OK ok! I'll make a BBM channel. Geeze!

Unfortunately, very few people know I'm famous.

Posted via CB10

Once they add new features and add video calling, more people will use BBM which means that it pushes them more to use channels

BlackBerry should directly contact big name companies and offer contracts/phones discounts for their effort on being on BBMChannels and using BBM!!

Posted via CB10

This would be a great reason for personalized pins. But with a dozen other social media ad platforms out here, it's a toss of the dice as to whether channels will have enough exposure to lure in the big names.

Posted via CB10

Already spreading the word. Whenever I am doing a survey and they ask for social media I am using, the answer is other then in the input box I always say BBM channel

Posted via CB10

Fix the search, add categories, reduce the spamming, get the ads up and running, fix the lag and network issues, make a desktop version, custom Channel pins, add video, some decent promotion and I think they have a fighting chance at bringing in some big names.


I shouldn't think so. It's just another social media to bother about updating and I'd be surprised if they would bother.

If BlackBerry want to make a go of BBM then they should give people what they want. To my mind one feature that is sorely lacking is the ability to login from more than one device.
I'm sure it's meant as a security feature. However, if you have a smart phone and a tablet, how handy would it be to have your messages come through to your tablet?

Posted via CB10

Let me say that my friends won't use it everyday BECAUSE They can set separate alerts for BBM people. If it's possible on an S4 or IOS let me know so I can tell them. I just don't understand why and it sux

Posted via CB10

I see corporate IM on the rise anyway and if companies are deciding to run a BlackBerry server it makes much sense to use BBM, even if parts of the company are carrying byod models.

Posted via CB10

we need BBM Money integrated with BBM Channels, so we can turn it into a e-com social enterprise platform for micro enterprise eg. Math Tutor BBM Channels , Family Medicine Advice BBM Channels

With the advertising being free and social media being at its peak yes business' will continue to jump on-board.

Posted via CB10

I do have some favorite companies and some new tech companies that have sprung up that I wouldn't mind following. It would be great if they used BBM Channels.

Depends, popular channels are too easily spammed and can be quite a turn off. It's very annoying reading through hundreds of 'add me' comments. That issue kind of defeats the purpose of Channels. Hopefully there are a few more tweaks to come and some soon needed publicity / advertising to bring Channels to the mainstream which would in turn bring in bigger name brands.

Don't think so, Facebook + LinkedIn + Twitter +... How many more of these?

Posted via BlackBerry Z30

I think channels has great potential...and YES some brands are updating very frequently BUT there is still a huge gap in meaningful brands who have a large user base...

For example USA Today - only 20k subscribers but at the same point they haven't touched the page in a while. Yes, we are all really exicted about the teenager getting to go back to school, but give us some content.

On the other hand WWE just created their page and they are upwards of 80k, but 80k is a relatively small number considering the brand WWE. At this point other than updates to BBM (just like they would facebook, and other social channels) there isn't a real incentive to host a "chat" or anything like that. Unless major brands start ADVERTISING their BBM channel it will be a small niche market.

Even brands that carry a lot of subscribers, there isn't a real opportunity for them to do anything special on BBM - except direct people to their own websites. There is not enough space to deliver real content within the channel.

I see this as growing into more of a promotional tool for artists, bands, perhaps sports figures, or individuals to promote themselves and perhaps chat once and a while with their fans - Not that it is a bad thing, I just don't see a brand like Coke needing BBM to promote themselves.

How does one get channels on their bbm? I don't have it except on my Q10 which was loaded with the beta zone channels from before. But all my other phones don't have it.

Posted via CB10

I can only see big brands adopting channels if BBM it's self goes mainstream. If we get X hundred million (whatever the magic number is) users with high level of engagement with BBM and channels then we will see brands adopt it and we will see channel PINS on commercials, signage, and product packaging.

If BBM becomes big than BBM channels will become big and more companies will use it to relay information to the public.

Posted via CB10 on Q10

BBM Channels has the potential but it is a pain in the butt to update it always via phone. With a nice desktop interface maybe I would do more....but it's definitely missing something.

Posted via CB10

Same as most on here. You have to weed out the idiots somehow?
I think channels has huge potential, it's just not ready for prime time yet.

Posted via CB10

That! Depends on the marketing department at BlackBerry pushing for clients since it would be a marketing/advertising endeavor for the big boys.

Posted via CB10

If they get out a short and to the point commercial of individuals using it while highlighting what it offers and centering it around connecting the business world with your personal world maybe they'd drum up more users. Make it a more personal and powerful LinkedIn of the communication world.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Coming from a rural area, I would like to see more small business as well as big name brands, what about sports, the leafs and jays are the only verified teams I've seen, even news where's CBC and TSN oh right they'd rather throw BlackBerry under the bus.

Posted via CB10 on my Zed10

It's a very good im I think it will have an impact in the quality of the service, the other im doesn't care about the quality of the service, just trying to get the most of the users. BlackBerry is doing the things in the right way

Posted via CB10

Big brands to use BBMC? Well, i can't see why not.

However, it seems adding/ editing is only feasible via the mobile device.

Perhaps take up rate would improve, if, they r able to add/edit posts via a website. That's way, content can be better driven & managed

Posted via CB10

BBM channels have become a great network. Using it for business is gonna be great. We only need more people to ride on

My 1st choice of smartphone, BlackBerry.

I think so, just wondering what's the vehicle of letting them know about channels. Slowly but surely ^

Posted via CB10