How to add a BBM contact on BlackBerry 10

By Adam Zeis on 8 Apr 2013 10:03 am EDT

It's rare that I add a contact to BBM by any method other than entering their PIN, so I often forget that there are a few different ways to get the job done.

When I travel to a conference or head to a meet up, I get the chance to use the good ol' barcode scanner or NFC to add contacts to BBM.

What's surprising is that not everyone is aware of how to add a contact to BBM by these methods - or maybe even at all. 

So while most of you already know how to add a contact to BBM by PIN or email, we'll take a quick look at all of the methods so you can become a BBM master in no time.

PIN or Email Address

To add a BBM contact by PIN or email:

  • In BBM, tap overflow icon (3 dots) then Invite to BBM
  • In the To field, enter your contact's PIN or email address
  • Edit the message that will be sent with the invite (or don't, it's up to you)
  • Choose a category (if any) that you'd like the contact added to
  • Tap Send
  • Your invite is sent and the contact will be added to your BBM upon approval

Scan a Barcode

To add a BBM contact by scanning a barcode:

  • In BBM, swipe down from the top bezel. 
  • Tap Scan to Invite
  • Move your device so the camera can focus on your contact's barcode (be it on their device or somewhere else)
  • Once the barcode is scanned and recognized the contact will be added to your BBM contact list.


To add a contact by NFC (Tap to Invite):

  • In BBM tap the overflow icon (3 dots) then Invite to BBM
  • On the bottom, press Tap to Invite
  • Make sure that your contact has NFC enabled on their device, then align the back of both your devices until you feel it vibrate. 
  • Once complete the contact will be added to your BBM contacts


There you have it! Once you master these methods you'll have a multitude of options for adding new contacts to BBM

Be sure to check out more great tutorials in our BlackBerry 10 help and how-to guides.

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

Reader comments

How to add a BBM contact on BlackBerry 10


I think this is an example of how usability of BBM could be improved. Adding contacts isn't very intuitive, and the fact that there are two different places to go (overflow for NFC and PIN, swipe from the top for barcode) makes it more confusing.

This is just a minor update I think BBRY needs to make.

You can also just open BBM on one of the devices and then just tap to share (NFC). There's no need to press the dots, choose Invite, and then NFC. This also applies to a lot of other features. i.e. sharing a picture. Just open the pic and tap. No need to click the dots and then Share.


Posted via CB10

As much as I like getting new invites via NFC, people never turn it on. There's no shortcut to turn NFC on and as a result, it takes longer to add someone.

Is there a way to add a bmm contact while browsing the Internet with the phone and looking at a bar code?

Posted via CB10

What's the point of pin? Just give someone your email address because that's way easier to remember. I've never used BBM so perhaps I'm missing something but I don't understand why anyone would use pin over email.

Posted via CB10

PIN method is more secure if you don't want to give your email address, which might be the case in certain situations

Posted via CB10

Try this.
1. Ony any website on Bb10 browser put two BBs together, it'll share that website with the other one, even youtube videos. If you're watching some cool video you can share it like this

2. You want to share a contact: just open that contact in your bb10 and place it with another bb10, it'll transfer right away, no need to open "options > share > nfc"

This method applies to most of the shareable things in bb10. BB has actually the best BB functionality in all mobile world.

Still waiting for payment feature on my z10, any apps?

Because you're inviting them, not adding them directly. They still have to approve the request to be added. 

Adding by NFC should prompt you to turn it on if it's off. Too many extra steps to put it on.

Posted via CB10

I love BBM but am now the only person in my circle of work and friends that carries a BlackBerry. Hoping for better adoption.

Posted via CB10

LOL I think most people already know how to do this after watching your last tutorial on how to add 2000 BBM contacts HAHAHA With the barcode scanning its important to note that approval is automatic while the barcode is being displayed rofl

Just an observation...
Putting 2 BB9900's back to back doesn't automatically transfer contacts...
whereas, you can do it on a Z10-BB9900 without all the extra steps...
Z10 is quicker for transferring contacts...I NFC'd my wife's BB9900 contacts into my Z10 (page by page)...tap..tap..tap..
No typing...yessssssssssssss

Never used BBM before and I have total full 2 (TWO) contacts who have Blackberry phones and I have them in my BBM. There should be a way for BBM to advise us who of our contacts has BBM - something like Whatsapp can do...

A few things about BBM.

1. It should be the easiest chat service to add people to. The add to BBM button should be front and center in both the dedicated app and the hub.

2. NFC should automatically be enabled when you enter the "Invite to BBM" screen. If you have it turned off in settings, it can turn off again when you leave the invite screen.

3. BlackBerry should really capitalize on the social aspect of BBM. Use the college crowd, business communications, relationships, and everything else in a commercial. It's about connecting with people in an effective way. BlackBerry could really do a better job of communicating that to their potential customers.

Posted via CB10

On 3... Today i saw a new blackberry commercial that focused solely on bbm video and screen sharing, short, straight, and to the point... It was also funny... Best of all their commercials thus far.

I didn't see Invite to BBM in 3 dot menu. Maybe it's because of I don't use BIS now. :( My friends must send me a request first.

Posted via CB10

I'd like to see a way to "Scan" a barcode that is already displayed on my phone. Useful when someone posts the barcode on a forum that I want to add to my bbm. Seems only way to use it is to use a pc or another BlackBerry phone to display the code so my phone camera can scan it. An app that let's me grab a displayed code already in my phone would solve this perfectly.

Posted via CB10

hi, when I put the first letter or number in the bbm to invite people it shows me suggestions from my email, facebook, twitter and contact list

It had appeared to me my friend bb pin that I don`t have .. how it comes ?

In z10 for BBM I have put vibration mode off.
So when ever anyone ping the phone doesn't vibrate. This was not with torch. Any help on this.
I think there should have been a separate button to on and off ping.

Posted via CB10

please all,
how can i hide recently viewed pictures on my Q10?i dont want to see that 'folder' whenever i launch my pictures, the recently added is enough but i dont need 'recently viewed' can i completely disable that function or hide it permanently?

secondly, how can i hide some pictures so that anybody who picks up my phone wouldnt see them unless it is unhidden...which ofcourse, the person will not know anything is hidden, so he/she wont bother unhiding all or doing 'show all'...or better still, can i hide a folder?so i can put the pictures i intend to hide in it and hide the whole folder so it does not show when you launch the pictures.