CrackBerry Poll: Should RIM make BlackBerry Messenger available to non-BlackBerry smartphones?

By Kevin Michaluk on 26 Nov 2010 06:20 pm EST
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BBM for all?

I've had a lot of interesting conversations this week concerning Kik, the BBM-like cross platform instant messaging application available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. Kik is still pretty bare in features, but it's quick, uses data (not SMS) and like BlackBerry Messenger has Delivered and Read confirmation of messages. The majority of these Kik conversations have focused on two key points: one, Kik's amazing growth (upon release they went from 0 to a million users in 15 days and continue to grow) and two, the fact RIM kiked them out of App World and shut down their push service this week (see Kik's plea and RIM's official response).

While the Kik success story/controversy is an interesting one to discuss, the notion that keeps coming into my head when I start talking about Kik isn't Kik itself, but rather Should Research In Motion offer BlackBerry Messenger as an app/service to other smartphone platforms? Let's think about this. The rapid growth of Kik tells me the smartphone world wants a cross-platform BBM-style messenger client. To be the category killer of cross-platform smartphone messaging clients, you need infrastructure, a solid app and a critical mass of users. If a small startup can build an app like Kik and quickly establish their brand and score some awesome growth, just imagine what RIM could accomplish with their massive infrastructure, existing BlackBerry Messenger know-how and brand recognition and global marketing reach. If they decided to go this route, it wouldn't take long for pretty much every smartphone owner to be BBMing, not just BlackBerry owners as it is now (it may not be true BBMing as BlackBerry users know it, but it would be something close enough). Who knows, BBMing could eclipse texting (SMS)!

So should RIM do it? Personally, I think they should. I get the reasons why they wouldn't. RIM makes money from selling smartphones, and right now BlackBerry Messenger is one of those hooks that keeps people on BlackBerry and actually attracts some people to BlackBerry (I've heard stories from carrier reps where individuals walk into the store and ask for the phone that does BBM). But I don't think this reasoning holds up long-term. As soon as a cross-platform BBM-style client emerges in the smartphone space and attains critical mass (ie. Kik or another), even if not as fully-featured as BlackBerry Messenger the hook of BBM starts to diminish. If it's inevitable that a cross-platform BBM alternative is going to emerge down the road, is it not better for RIM to be the one who puts it out? There are some iPhone owners out there who no matter what are never going to own a BlackBerry (Apple fanboys!), but I bet those same people would rock BlackBerry Messenger on their iPhone. 

Anyways... it's something to ponder. Vote on our poll above and let us know what you think in the comments!

Reader comments

CrackBerry Poll: Should RIM make BlackBerry Messenger available to non-BlackBerry smartphones?

127 Comments

This is retarded and whoever made this post hasn't thought it over more than 10 seconds.
BBM works over PIN messaging, that's what makes it fast and unique, and it works through BIS servers, that's what makes it even faster and secure.

How could an Android have a PIN and access to BIS ?

Obviously you didn't think your comment over for more than 10 seconds.

They would just use some other method (email, phone #, unique BBM ID for non BB devices etc.).

I think this would be a good idea. RIM has a winner with BBM and if they brought it to other platforms, they would increase users and possibly convert users of other devices over to BB.

It wouldn't convert anyone to BB. It wouldjust result in more users using RIM's systems and they would not get anything from it unless they did something like adds. Either way it would put a lot more strain on the system and probably slow things down. No RIM should leave well enough alone.

the word cross-platform is already self explainatory. when BB has the PIN, of course when RIM wanna opt for other device, they would have to come out with new recognition system for that particular OS.

on BIS, I do agree with you, they are fast and reliable. But if a BIS itself can communicate with the internet, then i dont think it is impossible to communicate with other device via the same network.

anyhow, the word IMPOSSIBLE is extinct nowadays. people are more interested to see how current system can be implemented universally..and that is called INNOVATIVE

I'm pretty sure you never gave this comment more then a thought of 10 seconds..or did you just simply forget about BlackBerry connect? It worked on WinMob and Nokia devices and used a PIN. A PIN which was also recogized and administered through carrier's BIS portals. Granted, it was only one way for PIN recognition but that means nothing, it was by design and if RIM wanted to they could house that PIN on the servers and it would be recognized just as any other BlackBerry would be. Comment fail.

u nailed it Bla1ze! i've forgotten entirely about BB Connect that once available on Nokia n WinMo devices. +1 for this comment

So Blaze do you think somebody will make a server on the playbook to serve bbm's over the internets now that RIM is integrating BBM into it's API? Maybe have a Playbook Farm somewhere?

But BlackBerry Connect was extremely limited. What is the basis to suggest that RIM could enable PIN to PIN messaging now?

And really, why would they want to? RIM's international growth is tied to the features of BBM allowing users to ditch text message fees and voice plans as they run much higher than what we pay in the Western world.

Kevin is not only proposing that RIM give up it's messaging advantage but also to open up the entire NOC to support the data requests from other handsets. If a phone has a PIN, then a developer could use the true push features of the NOC for their apps.

I don't see the point in RIM becoming a dumb pipe for every smartphone in the world.

Of course vaahtera should have put some thought into his/her post but Kevin should consider what he's really proposing as well.

RIM could allow non-blackberry devices to connect to the BIS servers, but the smart thing would be to just let users add other protocols into BBM.

vaahtera, pull your head out of your ass and give it a good shake. Actually, give it a few good shakes.

I'm *PRETTY SURE* Kevin knows how BlackBerry Messenger works...

Just... wow...

Learn some effing respect. Do you know who Kevin is on this site?

i sencond this. also u can AIM MSN YAHOO and ICQ clintes with your BB and get every phone on the market and PC and Macs to get the massage. But who still used AIM and all the others since everyone is crying about Kik.

You are right about what makes BBM special...BIS & PIN (and actually, as or more importantly BES) service & functionality. However, you seem to think that RIM/BB is some sort of elite country club and not a business trying to max revenue in the market place.

Alternate platform BBM has a some real value for business users and is also great for consumers. In the business arena, it would be great if users in a company could data message reliably and securely with a global addressbook a la BBM regardless of the platform...truth is, lots of companies have multiple smartphones they distribute and support and that balance is only shifting towards more and less Blackberry. The more RIM can offer to allows folks to interoperate (and keep BB in house), the better.

For pure consumers, more mobile IM is more better...if services drive (or greatly influence) the handset choice, it might be a good idea to give users a reason to say, "hey, the difficulty bar to shift to that sweet new Blackberry handset is pretty low...I have all the same smartphone stuff & my 'contact list' e.g., BBM is still totally accessible without having to notify and re-add all my buddies."

RIM could definitely expose the API for BBM and generate the PINs for other handsets that other-platform support would require.

It's not like RIM built a messaging service that exists in the 18th dimension. It's just an IM protocol paired with a service infrastructure with controlled gateways and a UID.

In fact, RIM is pretty much going to have to do exactly this to re-implement their messaging services on the QNX/Playbook platform.

It's a technical problem and not a super-complicated one at that...sure it would take significant work and time and $$ but we're not talking about a manned mission to Mars or anything like that.

Whether they are willing to take the risk to open the platform...well...that's another story.

Blackberry has somehting called BLACKBERRY CONNECT and is use on NOKIA and others smartphones to connect to a BES... So yes IS POSSBILE TO GIVE A PIN TO A NON BLACKBERRY DEVICE just use google first the next time. Geez !!

All those who vote no just illustrate how pathetic BB users have become that they think that a single app like BBM is all that's keeping customers from jumping ship to a real smart phone.

I wish you could buy fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, but they don't have bar codes so its clearly impossible! :(

Hells yes they need to make it cross platform. Maybe they could somehow monetize it on non BB devices? Something to pay the bills.

That, and I think they need to allow BBM to work without BIS.

They can, in fact, monetize BBM on other platforms easily, by keeping the BIS requirement.

In order to access BIS, you need a "Blackberry" data plan, which means part of what your carrier asks is paid back to RIM.

All that money could "pay the bills", and pay the development resources commited to the project in the first place.

Here's another idea: RIM should buy Kik and rename it to BBM. That way, all the work is done. You have your cross-platform IM system, with much of the same features, you just have to kick development up a notch.

On the one hand, make BBM available for everybody and you lose a portion of sales, but I agree with the author, if they don't do it, somebody else will!

What I think would be the best all-around way of doing this would be to make BBM available to everyone (including computers) but have something for people on other smartphones (e.g. Make it a paid app, don't include barcodes, don't use groups, etc.). I have to talk to somebody reasonably often who uses an iPhone, and I hate having to have an extra icon used up on my homescreen for texting because of this. Also by making it possible to use BBM without a PIN, my friend who has a blackberry without a plan would be able to BBM me over wifi.

Originally my feelings were NO! Its called Blackberry Messenger for a reason.
What I think would be best would be to make it a paid app for devices that are not blackberries. If you have a blackberry its free. You dont need a different app, just the regular bbm app. If I have to pay for apps as a blackberry user that iphone and android users are getting for free, I want them to pay for bbm...I dont mean 99cents either....make it at least $4.99. Call me selfish, but they cant have my bbm for free.

I agree. I cannot see smartphone users crossing over to BB just because bbm won their heart. I can see that work the other way around though, BB users crossing over to iPhone or droids because bbm would be available. The only reason most first-time smartphone consumers choose a BB is BECAUSE of bbm but if they knew that it could be available on another smartphone and all they had to do was pay for it, then why not. Although I think even $4.99 is cheap. I know $4.99x5 billion is a lot but for such an exclusive app to be open to other platforms, make it a bigger income. If non bb users really want it, they'll pay whatever price to have it.

Either that or just allow Kik in App World once again, I have a lot of Android an iPhone buddies that use Kik it would be great to chat with them without platform restrictions instead of forcing me to login to MSN

Think it should stay Blackberry only. It makes Blackberry unique, I've had several Andriod users tell me how much they miss BBM compared to texting and other IM programs.

Do ppl text or use aim anymore or other im clients. This is the most useless topic bc ppl act like you don't have other options. Instead of using a cross platform app why don't you text the person or call them. They would have to change the name it wouldn't be BBM anymore. Rim needs to stick to its guns bc this sales devices. I didn't use kik bc to me its useless.

Why would they have to change the name? Microsoft didn't change the name of Windows Media Player when they ported it to OSX. Nor did Apple change the name of iTunes when they ported it to Windows.

Maintaining the BlackBerry Messenger name and logo would be a constant reminder of where it comes from.

I think RIM should develop a CrossPlatform Chat tool, launch is FIRST to BES users to allow IM tracking though their network via NON BB phones, but charge a user fee based on unique keys for non BB phones.
This should evolve over a 3 year business plan, than after getting critical mass in the BES sector and paying development costs via BES fee's reduce the BES costs to a much lower cost and introduce it to the mass public, Give BBM to consumers, and maintain a statistics of what phones are using BBM that are not BB's launch BBM updates for BB's 3-6 months before NON BB's so that there is still a reason to want a BB over another phone for BBM, but you are not cutting BBM out, and you can also introduce BBM to the desktop for use within the business world.

Until RIM is a solid contender in the Consumer high end space, they need to KEEP BBM to themselves.

All this about Kik is funny. AIM has been around forever and works on all platforms. Why doesn't everyone just support that? It's proven and works.

I’ve been a BB user for many years; unfortunately they just aren’t cutting it for me anymore. I have ordered my first android device and am very excited to receive it. BBM is the only thing about my BlackBerry I will miss. It is a great app and Rim does have a winner, but it’s not enough to keep me around. I would gladly pay for a BBM app on my new Android. I honestly think if Rim doesn’t open it up to other devices it will eventually fade away.

I have to agree with gtp20. I'm in the same boat with my iPhone.

I loved my BB 9000, but I was told by AT&T it was not compatible with their network due to some ROM firmware thing (even though it was unlocked, GSM, and all features *but BBM* worked on AT&T's network...long story) when I returned to the USA.

So, I went with iPhone as I hated the smaller size of the 9700, and I felt i can replace my BB and iPod Touch with just one device, since AT&T was forcing me to buy another smartphone, and the iPhone was same price as the BB, as I was a new customer.

I love BBM, but frankly I would not change back to BB only for BBM service, as I would lose far more than I would gain. (I know, this is a matter of opinion...this is just my own).

Besides, all my BB friends tend to be logged into MSN and Yahoo Messenger as well, just as I always was when I had my beloved BB 9000, so I simply chat with them via those services with no notice of anything missing at all.

I think opening up BBM would be great. I'd pay for it, assuming it is priced reasonably. :)

The more I think about it, the more I think they should release to other phones. Just make the other versions with less features and charge a one time fee and make a little money in the process.

I'm saving up for an iPhone or an Android. I've been using BB for the last two years. What is good about BB is just the BBM other than that is sooooo LAME!! BB definitely can't beat the diversity of apps for iPhone or Android. People here in my country, Indonesia, the biggest BB users in Asia and very consumptive people, are getting bored of BB. Not even OS 6 can beat the sophisticated Androids or iPhones. Some have already managed to jump ship for Android, mostly. Thanks to WhatsApp, PingChat, Kik (deceased. lol) and other cross-platform instant messaging apps. Who needs BBM when you still can have cross-platform instant messaging apps?

Well.. I'm just telling you guys the situation here regarding to smartphone talks.
Ditch your BlackBerry and get a real life, dude. ;)
Hopefully in the next few months I can afford some kickass iPhone 4 or Nexus 2. Yeh..

your right all i see all day is bb users, but you think axis and telkomcell is good for the iphone here, hummm i dont think so, well at least my area is shaky on 3G but most people here got bb cause also of bbm its free dont have to pay more for less, better connected and well supported. i havent seen a iphone in Indonesia yet, singapore is smaller and has a larger use of the iphone so if you think indo will be like that think again. maybe in the next 10yrs by that time apple may own the table we eat on. Oh and by the way, to apple designed in the US of A but made in china, you should ashamed of yourself of using china cheep factories and paying the people 5cents and charging us customers 400 bucks and up and for the ipad ooh no.
Im sorry this is very disturbing if you have one human bone in your body at all.

Well.. Telkomsel is the biggest telco with the largest coverage in Indonesia. Telkomsel supports 3G coverage in major cities. As I can see, maybe when you're in Indonesia, you lived in some remote area or mountains where you could experience laggy connection. You should've gone to capitals and see what's happening. In fact, my friends are using iPhones and Androids. They have the same amount of subscription fee as BIS (99.000 Rups/month). Let's say 20 out of 100 friends. It really depends on where you live actually.
And about iPhone made in China, it has ridiculously nothing to do with the subject hueaihoaeuihaeuihaeiu.. BlackBerry, the Canadian technology, is also made in some parts of the world i.e. South America and Asian countries just for the sake of labour costs. The mean capitalism practices. How about, you see and check your BlackBerry yourself, where do ya think it was made?
Cheers ;)

Apa Kabar, Demeanor! I posted above. It was Indonesia I was living in before returning to the usa with my BB 9000.

Like you said: BB pretty much rules there, but not because of BBM. Rather, it's because they are so cheap in price (and cos can get unlocked ones pretty easily at some choice malls hehehe), there is an active 2nd-hand BB customer base (unheard of for iphones to be be sold by customers, while BB users easily sells theirs), and because the iPhone is so costly.

But, more and more of my friends in Jakarta feel the same as you do--they easily would get an iPhone if they felt they can afford that higher-than-in-the-USA cost. Singapore, S. Korea, Taiwan and Japan have already gotten over BBM and now iPhone really has taken hook. I have one friend rocking an ancient Sony Er C902, in hopes of getting her iPhone in Jan.

BBM is very nice, but is not something so magical it cant be replaced. Simply put, people use it because it is there and very convenient, but hardly irreplaceable. That's why WhatsApp and Kik are catching on: because people want to talk to anyone with BBM ease, not only to other Androids or only other iPhones.

Best would be a type of BBM API, and BBM would then be a utility service, similar to twitter. Or BB could make their own apps and sell them.

I really think it is a mistake to think BBM is hook for RIM. What sold me initially was not BBM, but it being the ultimate messaging and biz system. But too many other (iPhone, and Android OS phones) have the same integration, but with many choices of IM. And since when has it been hard for an iPHone user to communicate with an BB user? Most BB users I know are plugged into YM, Twitter, FB, and MSN at the same time.

What I do see BBM as is a common IM where all users simply one one common IM system, instead of multiple ones. NO one will sell their iPhone for it, but Many on iPhone would buy a BBM app.

At one stage I was using my BB on a pre-paid sim, which includes a data plan but no BIS, it would have been great to be able to use BBM as a 3rd party app back then (via the data connection).
I know a few people who've inherited a BB who use it in this same way, it would be great is they could use BBM on a data plan.
Currently I am using Whatsapp to connect to the I-phone users in my world, and yes I was willing to pay the $2 a year. So RIM why not make BBM available to the other platforms?

its not the phone its the phone company that provides you the service, im on a prepaid right now and everything works, bbm, email and web. again phone companies will get you once this goes viral. im betting they cant wait.

Umm I don't think that would be a good idea. Most of their users maybe be subscribed because of BBM and maybe dying to get an iPhone or Android device. i'm not saying I am because i'm a die hard BB fan but think about it if its available to other platforms how much subscribers would they loose. Its like a restaurant giving away the secret recipe to their signature top dish where most of their revenue comes from. And that means a competitor restaurant could be successful at implementing the same taste and look of that dish and maybe sell it for less which could cause the first restaurant to loose customers and revenue. So I think that would be a dangerous idea.

The only reason i have a Blackberry in the first place is BBM. If other phones get it, id jump to another in a heartbeat. I love my blackberry , dont get me wrong, but theres just so many other phones out there that are more modern with better features. This, in my opinion , would be the death of blackberry. Most people on my bbm list only have blackberry for that one reason, and im pretty sure the general thinking is " if blackberry didnt have bbm, i would get rid of it'.

I call it the blackberry society... that's why there is a bbm lounge party! specific just for us BB users. It would cost more money and more bandwidth to upkeep the bbm server if blackberry makes it available to other platforms... sure bb can charge a fee for the service but out of this how much can bb get out of it? how many breakdowns will we get with it... What RIM can do or if possible it to use the PIN server to push the messages via text to non BB users? who knows.

Not only do I think BBM should be available to non-BlackBerry smartphones, but I think RIM should turn BBM into the ultimate all in one messaging client by throwing in popular instant messaging clients into the mix such as AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN, etc.

This is something BB would have to think about very hard. Would they loose or gain by it. I think more loose. BBM and the push emails is the nicest thing about bb. as well as the keyboards they have are very nice. as far as bling and toys they are lagging, and I think as the next generation of users comes up they will have to really come up with some stuff to keep in the game. I want this company to succeed and I hope they have the plan to hold onto and gain some ground.

kev, i feel ya, but i dont think you know phone companies that good, do you know why cell phone companies are alive ? its to make money, so your just asking for hell, if people jump of sms that means they will get you in a price hike or something else, like how they just dumped the unlimited data for a max of 2gig, pushing sim card detection, now so if you use your laptop with you cell phone via tether app they will get you sooner or latter, and all this talk about pushing rim outside of the blackberry brim is just luda criss, this is just mo however, but despite all the bashing bbm is original in what it does, and then comes the abuse of clones to mimic, as much as it is and besides, as far as i see many people that post in the beginning seems to not like rim at all so why give them something they are bashing anyway, isnt apple better and droid platforms why try to clone bbm if its not the real thing? just dont make any sense at all in that category, all the hype over other products and if they are so much better then leave us with what works and im for what works and it works well.
let developers come up with there own clones just leave rim out of it, you want to experience the real thing just get a blackberry, and like the guy above said can this effect the bbm servers as well, and hey what ever happened the india trying to get there way with rim and there bbm, why they want to snoop so bad? tell us this, i think theres more important things here to be talking about than clones and pirates, its the security that makes rim what it is not clones, and also bbm is also secure as well, are the clones going to recreate the security of phones again? i dont think so, and again somethings are just better the way they are, you like apple so bad then stick with it, it works for you, you want droid no problem get a droid, people dont have to buy a blackberry if they dont want to, the problem is they want a blackberry and at the same time want to have a iphone thats just being greedy, someone said before thats why there choices, make up your mind which one is for you and your needs and stick with it, its less confusing and in the long run you will benefit from it. sooner or latter things break and you got to buy new ones, i have had most of the phones around town all breaks but even broken the bb still works and hits the hardest cause its solid, when it was built it was design for hard use not good looks, i know no matter what kik or not rim is the icon of bbm and just be original and lay off the hate after all, its pure love for the bb that gave those kik developers the passion to try to be like the bbm in the first place, when anyone bash its cause they have love for it to go through all that bashing for not loving it, ooh i dont think so, thank goodness for crackberry, we know that people love the blackberry and even thou it may not look the way they want it, at the end of the day we blackberry owners know that we have a dam good product that works and gets the job done well.
I never had anything bad to say about either product from other makers windows mobile, apple or anything else, and im a owner of a few others one thing is for sure, there is no product like a blackberry, one of the most secured phone on the planet, and you guys seems like you want to destroy it with all this bashing and cloning of im's, just about all desktops out there got msn or aim or google on it and there are lots of messengers that runs very well on the blackberry also i dont even see the need for kik at all imo, you want free chat use your free im's on your phones all products comes with them today, its just ashame how people fight over something thats design for a product thats so stable compare to the rest on the market.
Have a good night or day to all.

I think BBM is blackberry's trump card. to give it up is to lose the edge. good for the consumers, but not for RIM. The only thing holding me back on blackberry is BBM and to a smaller extent, the pushmail. Apps wise, blackberry does not have a compelling offering compared to iOS or android.

They should not open it to other phones, but should do it for PC, if you have a tethered blackberry. A long session of BBM would be much more enjoyable on PC.

Absolutely fuckin not. Bbm for blackberrys only. Other smartphones can chill the hell out and do something else to make their product unique.

A lot of people would leave BB, other than the keyboard itself BBM is the signature for Blackberry. And if you do a Poll of who would leave BB if they could have BBM on a Iphone or Droid the numbers would speak for itself.

I dont get it....Unless every single one of your friends had a blackberry, then why would you bother to use BBM? I'm on my 6th blackberry and I've never used it once! It's useless unless it's cross platform/protocol.

I think they should. The should make a BBM client for Windows Mobile, Android and Apple. But charge a fee. $5 to download and $1/month service fee. Keep it free for BB users. That way it's win-win

RIM is not in the Business of writing Apps for others. Why start now?
There are more than enough ways to communicate with each other on different devices.
I use BBM with a lot of friends and it's great. If a friend doesn't have it then I email, text or, if you can imagine it, PHONE them.
You won't see Apple re-writing any iPhone native apps for use on the Blackberry.

BBM is fantastic, simply the best mobile communications method available in the market today.

And while some facets of BBM may be possible with alternate devices, it is not technically possible to implement them all.

Any other device with IM is polling like crazy to give you anything like as good a user experience as RIM generating masses of pointless network traffic and burning battery power.

So no, RIM shouldn't bother extending BBM to other platforms, though a XMPP gateway added to BES would be a winner both at enterprise and consumer levels.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

Worst idea EVER!

Honestly I think this idea for RIM would be stupid and a waste of time, resources, and most of all money, in my opinion. I'd much rather see RIM doing something more productive for the company. Namely, bringing every single Blackberry to a unified OS Standard. There should not be this giant great gaping distance between OS on their devices. Everything is scattered across the board. It gets way more technical than that, and I'm too lazy to type my major points. RIM's priority should be on RAM. This should only be used for core processes, everything else should be on the Media Card, but that's me. After reading this back I'm realizing my reply is so half-assed and barely scratches the surface...ah well.

I'm going to apologize ahead of time if this has been said by someone already, but...

What if RIM created a program for iOS and Android that incorporated a PIN for their phones and a Messenger application, but make the native BBM better? On one side everyone would have "BBM" but on the other hand you have a benefit from having the BlackBerry in the first place. Or maybe a small fee for the service but keep it what it is? I say this because I used Kik and I wasn't all that impressed at all. So if RIM made BBM work for iOS and Andriod (and I guess WM7...) that cost a bit of money to them (free to us, obviously) but make it just as good, I see potential...

/rant

This discussion is very useless. You all BlackBerry fanboys, really, I gotta tell ya, get a real life! See what iPhone or Android has to offer » better smartphones than BlackBerries! We have long ugly discussions about stuff that is not so primary for our lives while we still can use BBM or cross-platform IM apps or text or even dial the number and make a phone call. So, come on now.. Yeh.. Well..

why dont u go away and get your real life? this is a crackberry website and the main purpose of this website is to discuss everything about blackberry. don't bother to come here just to troll. you're not invited

I agree its either take it or leave it and soon people will leave blackberry as almost every1 has an iphone or droid. put bbm on app stores for 2.99 or something, and make money selling it. Something is better than nothing and the way kiks going, we can see dominance on the way.

BBM is a great function! it would be great if it was cross platform especially if it could be used on the computer. I love my BB and don't plan to change, all the others seem nice but not for me....period. If the actual phone cannot compete with out having an eclusive IM then so be it. Another smartphone will have to do. If BBM is keeping consumers with BB then the BB is not a good enough product. I think it is personally, but if they can improve on a great service they should. A service like BBM would be so much better if I could use it with others, but like I mentioned earlier BBM is not what keeps me with my phone, I would not leave for such a simple reason. Just as I wont leave BB for some bigger brighter screen, or more MP on a camera. Blackberry needs to improve what it does, because no other phone does smartphone like BB. They may have great games(I don't play them) it may have a great screen( i dont watch alot of stuff on my phone) and they may connect to internet better(they need to fix that) but for what I chose to use my phone for it does it better than everybody. So my vote is tighten up the hardware and expand the software. Who know, if they made a great IM app maybe there will be an income stream worth investing in besides the phone.

The real question is would Iphone and Android users pay to use BBM? I doubt Rim would ever offer them BBM for free especially with the increased traffic trough their NOCs

I didn't know I was in some elitist club because of BBM. I've been a BB user for 1 year now, I've sent/received less than 50 BBMs. Friends and family (even the ones that have a BB) use SMS, Yahoo, AIM/iChat, Facebook & MSN Messenger for IMs. I still see nothing special about the closed BBM environment. No point in making it for other platforms, there are plenty of IM apps that work on ALL phones & computers. The commercials of BBM just make me scratch my head, I don't see why this is a selling point for them. BB fanboys complain about Apple's "closed system", in reality the BB environment is more closed. So yeah my point about BBM is "I don't get it".

Well. Luckily, they're are already people developing an apk to access a bsn, and link a dll, that can store a pin. Its right around the corner whether rim likes it or not. The problem seems to be the encryption protocol. Its a major problem in itself. But honestly, I think it should happen, and know that it WILL happen.

BBM 4 BB user, if anyone want to use the BBM they must have a BB device...
a BBM client with other protocolls okay but other device(plattforms) with BBM, NOOOO

gr33tz

RIM makes their $$$ off of the BlackBerry data plans. So, they could still make BBM for other platforms and require a BlackBerry data plan in order to get BBM on other platforms. Will they? I don't think they ever will, whether a BBM-like cross platform IM app comes out and starts succeeding as much as BBM.

I don't see anyone really doing this and becoming as successful as BBM, except Google. Not with GTalk either. A completely new client, built from the ground up.

Only their native app. Many 3rd party IM apps support gTalk in all of it's features and capabilities. The only thing gTalk doesn't support is read/delivery notifications (but then I find that a bonus as I still prefer privacy).

If all Google did was maintain and support the server side, I'm more than content to rely on independent developers write the apps.

If RIM gives up BBM to other platforms, sales of Blackberry hardware will plummet. BBM provides a competitive advantage for RIM.

I know people who don't want to give up their blackberry because they don't want to lose BBM. Give them BBM on another platform and they will leave.

RIM should then focus on making a better product if BBM is all that keeps many people using the product (personally I don't really believe BBM is that big of a factor).

There are many many upstart companies out there all trying to accomplish the same thing. PingChat for example, is much better than Kik, and why they aren't getting as much attention is actually a bit boggling. Then there's WhatsApp.

Eventually, SOMEBODY will come up with a successful cross platform model that appeals to the masses. And when that happens, I'm sure RIM would prefer it was them rather than somebody else.

I don't see it as a priority for RIM or BlackBerry users... not until BBOS is solid with Zero Bugs on QNX. When that is done and the developers have time to look at the "rainy day" projects they should evaluate the business case.

Providing access to other platforms could be a two edged sword. BBM undoubtedly keeps a few consumer users loyal to the hardware, and is a unique selling point. If it got significant uptake from other platforms the load on servers would spike, needing a big investment to keep the service stable so there is a cost implication for RIM. OTOH a cross-platform client could be a significant revenue stream from monthly service charges and initial license fee for each handset.

My proposal... make it available in a secure application for approved smartphones only. Set a $50 software license to cover the initial setup cost for each device, and a monthly service charge at 10% premium above US/Canada BIS rates. Restricted access through approved existing BIS carriers. If the users really want and need it... let them pay or switch to a RIM device.

Sounds punitive? That's the idea, and way better than having 1/2 billion Chinese SMS users suddenly finding a free alternative to SMS.

if RIM makes BlackBerry Messenger available to non-BlackBerry smartphones they can say goodbye to their hardware sales...end of.

i like my 9700, but it's selling point isnt the hardware, its the functions it has as a device, when i 1st got a Bold 9000 it was because id finally seen a bb handset that was of the standard i was used to in mobiles, my previous were Nokia N95, Nokia 8800, Sony Ericsson P9000 etc.

RIM finally caught up with the kind of handsets than can compete in the European market aesthetically, match that with bbm and their 2nd to none email delivery and you have a winner, lose the unique functions and the consumer then reverts back to having choice...i wouldnt have bought a bb in 2007 if i could get the same functions in another brands handset, my allegiance lies in the bb services not the handset design, although they've come along way since those plastic pre Bold 9000 days, phone design was not previously a strong point but admittedly it's improved drastically, which im thankful for.

I think that BlackBerry Messenger should stay right where it is...on BlackBerry devices!

I'm considering Android for my next smartphone, but as the poll says, one of the big "hooks" of being a BlackBerry owner is BBM. My wife and several friends are on BBM as well; it is quick, efficient, and makes it incredibly easy to stay in touch, and I am hesitant to give it up.

BBM is one of the advantages that BlackBerry has over competing smartphone OSes. Making it cross-platform is a double-edged sword. The extra exposure and market penetration for BBM would be advantageous for RIM - and financially lucrative as well, since I'm assuming they'd have to license the technology to Google, Apple, etc. to get it on other smartphones. However, they'd also be losing one of the big exclusive advantages that BlackBerry has over the other smartphones out there. BBM should stay where it is.

My next phone is going to be a Droid as well. RIM has had over TWO YEARS to get the Storm up and running and it is STILL behind the iPhone and Droids.

Even the supposed "new" Storm 3 that MIGHT come with ONX OS is only going to have a 3.7" screen - WHY NOT A 4.3" like the Droid?

If Rim follows true to form the first Storm ONX phone will be lacking and need a "refresh" in a year to fix what they SHOULD have gotten right the FIRST time!

I've been patiently using the Storm 1 for two years, all the time watching the iPhone improve, watching the Droid phones improve... well I'm tired of waiting for RIM to catch up. When the new 4G's come out in 1stQ 2011, it will be to hell with RIM.

Maybe when my two year contract is up with my Droidwhatever, RIM will have a decent, non-sliding, large touch screen phone.... but by then iPhone and Droid phones will have taken another two or three giant steps forward.

The Storm may just disappear all together, I mean if they can NEVER catch up why bother?

There is an obvious reason why they would go with a 3.7" screen rather than a 4.3" one if they were only doing the one model and that is that far more people would prefer the smaller (but still nice and large) screen over the bulkier one that offers few benefits.

What they should be looking at doing is coming out with a storm 3 hd or something a few months later that is the same phone, but offers the larger screen to those that wanted one.

Obvious to whom? The millions and millions of Droid X and HTC EVO users... and other 4+" screen cell phone users?!

A larger screen a few months later WOULD NOT BE THE SAME PHONE.

Besides, what RIM DOESN'T need is yet ANOTHER phone to split the Storm users into two groups... AND ANOTHER SIZE SCREEN TO RE-PRODUCE apps to fit.

Apple was smart to come out with ONE phone, instead of a half dozen or so, all running different versions and screen sizes of OS's.

hell no, i don't wanna, BBM or anything from blackberry for my iphone, are you crazy, i won't be able to pull my battery anytime the little clock comes out, or my RETINA, screen froze up.. 2 millions time NO and NO......!!!!!!!

I GUESS rim wanna join the power of iphone.. but RIM, is way behind with iPhone, i could tell they still are in the stone age.. that's that why anytime a see a blackberry i see a dinosaur. (no offense).

RIM shouldn't waste ONE SECOND on this CRAP - They need to focus ALL of their energy and time on getting out a STORM phone that can BEAT or AT LEAST COMPETE with the Droid's and iPhone4!!! Who give's a shit about BBM for OTHER phones?!!!!

I dont think this is the right time for RIM start investigating whether or not to make a cross-platform BBM like client. They have too many things right now coming down the pike for them to worry about a value-add. They need to be focusing their efforts on OS 6 and their new OS coming out on the PlayBook. This is where they need to be focusing all their efforts right now, not on geting into new development spaces such as iOS, Android, WebOS, WinMo and the like. There is still way too much work to be done with the BBOS. Concentrate on on your core competency... please!

Why is KIK so popular when PingChat has more features...either way a cross platform BBM would be great!

I don't even know why this is even a discussion. BBM is a unique blackberry app. Each platform has things that make them unique. Should Itunes be compatible with blackberry and android devices??? I mean each platform is what it is. There are plenty of mssgr programs that are compatible with all devices. Plus SMS, email etc. RIM should focus on improving blackberry devices for blackberry users not finding ways to make it easier to connect with other devices.

It is interesting to note the number of people who say they still have a BlackBerry ONLY because of BBM.

This here is the real problem that RIM needs to wake up and take a look at!

If some people keep using Blackberry because of BBM that's a good thing for RIM. But to keep and gain other users I think they need to focus other things to keep users. If BBM was compatible with other platforms then they would lose users

RIM needs to remember the old adage "Don't put all your eggs in one basket".

They need to wake up, open their eyes, and look around them. They've got a lot of catching up to do, and basing their success on the popularity of BBM alone is not wise.

If current BlackBerrys had more up to date features, and could compete more favorably in today's market, this whole BBM cross-platform thingy would not be such a big deal!!

this kinda reminds me of facebook. you had to have a college email address to sign up for it at first but then they opened it to everyone. facebook gives out free accounts to everyone and they make money on ads. bbm doesnt use any ads so what would be the point for RIM to expand it everyone. how would they make more money if other devices could use it? i think thats what keeps some people buying the blackberry phone so they can have bbm

This is a really stupid idea, there are already plenty of cross-platform messaging apps already if people want to use one and most have both desktop and mobile clients, it is only due to the gullibility of some people that the likes of kik aren't being ignored as the pointless hype that they are.

The only thing rim should do with bbm is work on new ways to improve it for blackberry owners.

I actually had a few conversations with a few BB friends and I said (because I use the iPhone now), that there SHOULD be a BBM app for other phones, and it would be free for Blackberry users obviously, but other phone users could pay for the app and we would get our own 6 digit PIN, I certainly would pay quite a bit for an app like that, since I do have quite a few BB friends I still keep in touch with...not to mention the other apps are failing, RIM could totally score with this!

Why would I pay for an IM app when there is already AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, & SMS? I have a Bold 9700 and I don't even use BBM, I see no point to it, everyone I IM with uses the well know universal IM protocols, even my friends & family with BlackBerrys don't use BBM. We've only had a BB for 1-2 years. Perhaps it's just the longtime BB fanboys that are obsessed with BBM?

No thank you. I don't want nothing from BB on my Evo. I'm fine without the battery pulls. Why would we wanna pay for bbm when there's other free ones with better features? Yahoo lets us video chat, is bbm gonna let us do that with bb users? NO cuz bb hardware is not comparable to iPhone and Android. It would be a waste of time for them when they SHOULD be focusing on catching up to the best. If they offered it on other platforms then who in their right mind would keep a slow BB when they could have it on better hardware?

There's alot of different opinions but I think to make everyone happy bbm should charge a small fee to non bb users to make money. Bbm is totally worth the 1 or 2 dollar fee, anyways all non bb users are used to paying those fees. There just gonna make more money out of it so why not go for it. Bbm Will be the best cross platform right away unlike all other new ones still trying to get peoples attention. Kik doesn't allow file sharing which is one of the reasons I love bbm and also the groups.

Very good question.. And good replies.. But we are forgetting one very important thing; what about all the hot chicks alone on a friday night that don't have a BlackBerry? How am I supposed to talk with them when they have a droid(more of a toy than a phone) or iphone(over rated)

BBM is useless. You don't get messages if you are on the phone unless you are walking around with wi fi up your ass. I have a bb and not one contact because all of my peeps have other phones. Why not text message. All you fanboys make a big deal out of nothing. There are also instant message apps that people also use so who would want bbm that don't have a bb.

Is it just me, or does it seem like everybody who wants BBM to become cross-platform is a former BB user?

I got on the BB bandwagon a little too late. When I got my original Storm on 11/22/2008, most of my friends were already switching to other devices. Therefore, I never became a heavy BBM user. Of course, now, less and less people still have a BB and as such, my BBM contact list has shrunk to 2 ppl (no joke). All I'm trying to say is that I rarely get to use BBM now-a-days. However, I still enjoy that function when I do.

I believe that if RIM were to make BBM a cross-platform app, it would be the end of RIM for me for a different reason. For those few that continue to stick with RIM get the advantage, the pleasure and the opportunity to communicate to ppl differently. BBM allows BB users to stay in touch in a very unique way. That is not to say that I'm still on the bandwagon solely because of BBM, but being unique is a huge part of staying successful in the mobile world.

Should RIM make BBM available for all platforms, regardless of the financial scheme, I would feel betrayed, most importantly. It would be the last blow for me, because I feel as if BBM is the last thing that differentiates children who like to play mobile games and professionals who like to stay connected. Just my two cents.

I think BBM should remain restricted to Blackberries. As soon as they open it up I can see some asshole spamming blackberries just like you have spam problems on AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo. No thanks. Now if they want to add im services into bbm to allow you to message people on aim and the other networks, thats fine, but i would rather keep BBM free of spam messages.

Yes!!! We want to talk at peple with minor devices and take them to the dark side!!!

I voted no because I'm so pro-bb. But to be real honest, if bbm ever became available on an iphone or a droid, I probably would say byebye to blackberry.

bah this makes me such a hypocrite to my non-bb friends T_T

The last time I checked it was called 'BLACKBERRY messenger'? Set aside cross platform communication, if this is what people want there are hundreds of cross platform IM clients out there, use windows live or AIM... There's no need to ruin a unique BlackBerry selling point just on a whim that its gonna draw in new customers, get real RIM... People will just turn to other smartphones if BBM is available on them... The iPhone users especially would love to rub it in our faces that they've got BBM...

Dear iphone & droid users,

You can have BBM, but no PING!!! feature, no groups, no barcode and you cannot send files (pics, videos, music, whatever). You can have access to this 'instant' messaging service for $9.99/month per device.

This offer expires on Dec 31, 2010 if you want to take advantage of it.

Cheers.

Just like any cross platform application the user would have a choice if they wanted to use it or not. It wouldn't make sense for RIM to do it without charging a monthly fee. Free for Blackberry users but maybe $5/ month for BBM service.

Basically all other models of phones would have to communicate with Blackberries through a portal or gateway or sorts, its not likely that all other phones would communicate directly through BIS. Response time on delivery status' would be a few milliseconds longer.

I am so sick of these Iphone and Android bastards coming on here talking about how far behind rim is in technology. Really? Because im really sure that rim doesnt have a market research team, and Im also sure that they blindly make new devices with no planning and no awareness of what their competitors devices are doing. I dont know what is more pathetic, these idiots who come on Crackberry and claim that BBs are dinosaurs, and are so far behind in technology, or that they are pissed because they got an android or an iphone and yet still come on crackberry to try to make us feel like our devices are obsolete. I paid 200 dollars for my Bold 9650 and I could have got an Evo instead because it is "So much more advanced". But guess what...I CHOSE a blackberry because it is a MUCH better product for what I need it for, and with BB 6 I have wireless music sync, BBM, and may other great features that are just as good if not better than some stupid ass fart app on my friends Droid X.
Dont come on OUR site for true Blackberry users and try to parade your "my device is superior" bullshit. If it was, then you wouldnt want anything to do with crackberry, or us dinosaur users.

Imho experience varies by user.

I personally say that iOS interface is superior to any other OS'es, but the BB keyboards are also superior to any other input system (any other make's keyboards that I've tried, all slide keyboards - they're to impractical on the road, and anything touch-based or stylus-based)

The point is, you buy your device based on your personal needs and opinions.

The other point is, BBM is a boon to text-based communication. Really. Dead fast sending time, PIN lockdown, IM interface, and industrial-strength encryption. Something your everyday IM client doesn't do. Oh, and did I mention nag-free and ad-free? (The bb service itself is paid, though)

Making it available cross-platform .. I'd say it's the ultimate IM experience. I want it ad-free, so go ahead and charge a reasonable fee .. Say, 3 bucks a month? I'm in !

I voted "No" because I am not a fan of BBM. I don't use it and am quite pissed off that it can't be shrunk off of BB6 (OS6). I would prefer that RIM allow the Trillian developers actual Push. That would be ideal for me.

KiK, I tried it and I think it has potential except for a few things. It doesnt do videos and pictures. If it did those two things it may just be a BBM killer. I am still with BB for one thing and one thing only, BBM. They have to Cross Platform it because I am starting to get lonely on my BBM, every one is leaving. Its seems like at least once a week someone else leaves my Messenger list... :(

AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo messenger etc.... There are plenty of apps available with a LOT more features. It's not like BBM will take over the market!...

If BBM was a cross-platform app, RIM would a lot of customers like me who are switching over to Android. It would be just another reason for me to drop BB. RIM is a the new Palm. It's dying a slow death.

Good bye RIM and BB, you couldn't innovate and are always playing catch up.

Add me to the NO column. While it might sound great and some folks are still jonesing to communicate to all their BB friends (domestic and INTERNATIONAL) after they leave the BB fold, I have to say "Whats in it for RIM?" Once you make the choice to get a non-BB device, you are also making the choice to leave BBM behind. At that point, you must find alternative means for IM. Your friends/family will have to communicate with you the way they do with all their non-BB contacts. Should they decide that they don't wish to use anything outside of BBM, then well you might just have to accept the L. The way its going now, everything is fragmented in the IM world right now, so someone (doesn't need to be RIM) needs to make their IM so impressive that everyone flocks to it like BB users to BBM. And no SMS is not an alternative so long as there are additional charges, in most instances, for international SMS.

Didn't read everybodys comments don't have time, but y call it bbm if u don't have a blackberry I got the phone cause of the difference. If I want 2 chat wit other ppl ill us my yahoo or gtalk leave bbm to blackberry #theend!!!

maybe make ppl pay 10$ a month for a bbm application that can give a virtual pin or something? so bb oweners benefit because they own a bb so they dont pay for bbm, and non bb users will pay to have service, that might drive them to eventually just buy a bb device?

dont know if this is possible or not, i think it is, especially with all the ppl working at rim, someone has to be able to figure it out, tie the PIN to their IMEI and run through data network, this might be something that can be done with non smartphone devices as wel and go through wap service?

FINALLY! a post worthy of me reading in its entirety. BBM has become the single reason i'm hanging on to my dinosaur 9700. Kik will soon swagger-jack BBM and get all the glory and fame. But RIM is too arrogant to share their last hope with the world. So it will go down with its ship. [jerry]Which is not far off by the way.[/jerry]

people get irritated now when BBM or Blackberry servers are down... If they opened this secure messaging service up to other platforms ... for 1, other devices arent as secure & the network/server traffic would be ridiculous... if people want BBM , then buy a Blackberry. Why have a great app/service on any other crappy OS platform..

After reading most of the comments on this topic, I noticed that nobody mentioned the fact that the Playbook, which blows the ipad out of the water, will be able to connect to the internet through your BB's bluetooth with no extra charge. The Torch, in my opinion, was just a way for RIM to buy some time. The keyboard on the BB's is what I love about them. I don't like the idea of pressing my small phone screen to type or do any other function for that matter. As for the iPhone, there is no variety. I don't want to have the same phone everyone else has and I don't want to be limited to one carrier for service. I feel this is where the Torch went wrong. I have heard many say they have a problem with dropped calls on AT&T. Maybe this is caused by the lack of bandwidth needed to run all of those phones and probably the reason AT&T is more expensive than other services.

When the Playbook hits the shelves, we will see many change to BB's because of it's cost effectiveness. The size of these Android and iPhone screens will be a mute subject because you will have a 7 inch screen on the Playbook and the ability to view everything on your BB on the Playbook screen. In other words, those phones are too big. I appreciate the portability of my Blackberry. I don't want a brick in my pocket. Blackberry has been the leader in business for years and this will continue. Apple and the others better enjoy this success while they can because it will not last. Yeah the Android market and the iPhone store have more apps but lets be honest, you can't put them all on your device and most of the apps you download probably are rarely used.

These companies have appealed to human beings cravings for new fads but have failed to appeal to our need for individualism. So to all those who have gone away from Blackberry because of the new "shiny toys", we loyal users will treat you like the prodigal son and welcome you back with open arms when you finally see the light.