BlackBerry has finally unleashed BBM Channels from its beta chain and the service is now available for all BlackBerry users. Many had the chance to play around with BBM Channels during the beta period, but for those of you that haven't, you may need a bit of a guide to get started.
Everything should look fairly familiar for the most part, but if you're curious to know just how to get around the new service, keep reading and we'll go over the basics to get you up and running.
First off, make sure you have the latest version of BBM installed on your device.
Follow a Channel
From the main screen, tap the three bars on the bottom left, then choose Channels.
Here you'll see the main BBM Channels screen where you can browse through featured channels.
Browse through the list to find a channel you'd like to follow, then tap the channel icon to open it. Tap the Join icon on the bottom of the screen to subscribe to the channel.
Alternatively you can also search for a channel by tapping the Search icon from the main Channels screen. Enter a search term and then scroll to browse the channels. Follow a channel using the same method as above.
Create a Channel
To create your own BBM Channel, tap the overflow icon (3 dots) and choose Create Channel.
Here you need to enter all the info for your channel. Choose a name, description, channel photo and other settings. Once you're finished choose Save to create your channel.
Your channel can be anything you want - from a fan channel to hobbies to just all about you. The possibilities are endless.
View a Subscribed Channel
Tapping the middle icon on the top row will let you view your own channels as well as your subscribed channels. You can scroll through your list and tap an icon to view a subscribed channel or your own.
When viewing a channel you can browse through posts by scrolling. To like or comment on a post, tap the respective icon under the post text.
View Your Own Channels
When viewing your own channel you have numerous options. Tapping the invite icon will let you invite your contacts to your channel. For your own channel you can also view stats and settings. The main view will show your most recent posts, stats, reported items and chats (if enabled).
Tapping the overflow icon will let you change your channel settings or profile. Here you can change comment settings, privacy and even enable BBM chats. Turning on BBM chats will let other users chat with you over BBM through your channel. This is a great way to get even more social with your subscribers and when you're done chatting, simply turn it off again.
Post to Your Channel
After you've created your own channel, adding a new post is easy. View your channel then tap the Add Post icon.
Here simply add a post title, your message and choose a photo (if you want to). The message can be anywhere up to 400 characters. Once you're done, tap Post. That's it! Your posts can be everything and anything relevant to your channel.
There's also a great web interface for creating and managing your BBM Channels.