New data shows that BBM engagement is already beating competitors

By Adam Zeis on 8 Nov 2013 11:44 am EST

Just as we finished up our podcast where we coincidentally talked about the numbers for BBM, so new data has turned up that shows BBM is still moving along at a hefty pace. According to data from Mobidia on BGR, BBM user engagement is purely awesome so far and the numbers are there to prove it. 

During the week of October 20th, BBM engagement time in the US was 40 minutes, beating out Tango who with their 130 million users was 24 minutes. Viber narrowly nudged ahead of BBM at 44 minutes, but the four minute differential is pretty impressive for BBM that's for sure. Kik blew ahead with 106 minutes of enlargement so there is much ground to cover on that road.

In Europe BBM charged past the popular service LINE with 59 minutes compared to LINE's 38 minutes. WhatsApp holds strong here however with engagement at 160 minutes. 

So while BBM still has a way to go, the active users are definitely there. All we can do is keep spreading the word to get more and more people using the best messenger around.

Topics: BBM Apps

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

Reader comments

New data shows that BBM engagement is already beating competitors


That's not as impressive as his mention of 106 minutes of enlargement for kik . . my wife wants me to download it now so I can have that nearly two hours of enlargement . . .

Its as it says, engagement time. Where the amount of time people spend on the app. At least thats what I think... but seriously who counts engagement time? I mean i can use an app for 2 min everyday and can say I use it as my main social app lol

I think once both BBM and BBM Video are here along with ace BBM channels, BBM will go way past all the competition. Bring it on by Jan.

Ah don't sweat it. Once the voice and video options come out for iOS and Android, they will be back. The chat only services are going to increasingly struggle.

I'm not sure that screen sharing is necessarily coming with BBM Video. If it is, I've just never heard it "officially" mentioned.

Hopefully it is, if course! So if someone knows more, please correct me!

This is how you CB10, son!

I'm with the other people who replied: I don't know if screen sharing is coming. I thought I read somewhere they were having issues getting it to work on iOS or Android(don't recall which or remember where I read it). If anything they may leave that as a carrot: "you should buy a BB because it has screen sharing!"

Their complaints were with lag and doubled messages. Plus one likes to abuse the Meme function in Kik. I thought BBM was a great fit. Loaded our schedule into the calendar, group pics with comments, etc. Would have liked it if you could see if a message was delivered or received in a group. I doubt they'll give it a second chance. First impressions mean so much.

This things need to be brought ASAP So BBM can get into the fight with better tools than competition. It needs to show a diferential to win over those users that don't see it now. This is key to win critical mass and become a must have App on every phone.

Posted via CB10

Totally agree!! Simply being similar is not a winning strategy when you're playing catch up. You can't win a fight on points when you're in the ring with a champion. You have to throw a knockout punch!

Posted using my amazing Z10...BB4All

You need to let them know that they only way they can communicate with you is through BBM. Then they'll have no choice but to reinstall (who said choice is good???)! Then again, they still may not go back and then you will have lost some friends!

Yeah, normally. You cannot use BBM in landscape mode on iOS or Android (and on BB10 outside the hub). You can do that on WhatsApp, for instance. Had a hard time convincing my wife and my mother to stick to BBM (probably they do it just to keep me happy). But come on, BB, how hard is it to enable this feature?

Please. Landscape on BB10 is all over the F-in place. Hopefully 10.2.1 will fix this somewhere down the line. Along with headless apps; equalizer, BT issues, and opening up the android runtime to all B10 apks. But back on topic. Impressed with BBMs numbers so far. Better than I expected.

I don't know how anyone uses Kik, it's so garbage and so much trolls. I still get emails from Kik of "messages unread" and it's a whole list of people confusing me with someone else, asking if I'm my real name and spam bots. Don't have that issue on BBM, I communicate with the people I've shared my pin with and that's it.

Had zero contacts before cross platform BBM and now up to 20 and also apart of a active group. My text message count is definitely waaaay down since BBM.

I reported to support several days ago that I have friends with the Android app who can not connect with my BBM even when we are next to each other scanning bar codes. It is frustrating plus with my Apple friends the delivered and read notifications are hit and miss. I am waiting for the contact to read the message only to find out they received it the day before. BBM is working well with my Blackberry contacts. If they don't work out these bugs soon the same people trying BBM will be former users.

I know of two Samsung users who killed BBM on their phone because they felt it was draining their battery... maybe something to investigate?

Posted via CB10

They don't have to leave BBM open to receive notifications. They can close it And only open it when they need it. BBM will kill the battery for them if left open though.

Posted via CB10

On topic, that sounds pretty promising. All they need now is feature adding and battery consumption improvement. Go BBM!

Posted via CB10

WHEN are they going to send out an official release on this data and BBM penetration in geenral?!?!? When some statements to create hype about voice and video?!?!?!? I really hope that marketing be the FIRST priority on the list of the new management.....

What is "engagement" and how is it measured? A little bit of context would have been good, not everyone is familiar with all these jargons. Ktnxbye.

While you were engaged in posting this question, I decided to engage in some research to find the answer. I used a watch to measure my engagement in this activity. It only took about 5 minutes. I hope this helps :)

But doesn't that defeat the purpose of a write-up which is to inform in the first place? Agree I could've googled it but c'mon, breaking my balls man. I forgive your condescension.

BGR news and stats are only trustworthy when it is in favor of BBRY you see... At least that seems to be the logic here.

Line is another chat programme just had plenty of fancy emoticons I think

Posted via CB10

Best messenger around.. seriously.. forget the best it's not even close to good... shittiest app ever.. you can not do so many things that other messengers can already do.. not to mention the losers were last on the boat.. there can be no excuse whatsoever for delivery failures.. like what happened with late launch .. server issues and crap..they are not selling hotdogs outside a late night club that they can call in sick.... then they are not even there on windows phone ( I don't use one but still ).. so slow.. and yes they deserve to be ignored and abandoned..

Who cares about the late launch when judging the merits of BBM? Using it isn't based on a report card of BBRY management and their list of missteps.

Seriously, are there people who say: "I would love it, but this free app was late so I won't even use it"? Come on.

If you don't like it, fair enough!
If it has usage errors, fair enough.
Just don't pile on weak catchphrases trying to strengthen your point.

This is how you CB10, son!

Which messenger does voice and video except Skpe (which is not really a messenger if it has to be started up first)? Which messenger notifies you when your message is read? (Whatsapp just notifies you that it has been delivered). Which messenger uses the core Blackberry service that runs all corporations for years? So unless your all about emoticons, I guess you can admit you're wrong.

Arun Nambiar before saying anything about what I am about emoticons or not let me tell you one thing to admit first... that u are ill informed loser... ever heard about Viber... Line etc... there are things other than Skype.. and where is video and voice on BBM... Loser

Well viber isn't allowed by Telcos where I am so I guess no points for viber there. I'd rather not give my data to the Chinese thank you with Line. And btw... I ain't on kiddy OSs like android and IOS. I say that cause it's active even in under developed markets like South Asia. And as for being ill informed, you turd, it's the telco networks that block VoIP. Now go back and play angry birds on a Samsung or something.

Ha ha LFMAO .. 1> Line is not Chinese ..
2> I don't use Samsung ..And if Android and Windows phone are kiddy OS .. That's what I use .. I Am sure you are on a loser OS like Blackberry which is right now begging for money ..
3> Look like u love angry birds and are angry / Jealous coz ur non kiddy OS does not have it ..well here is a news .. don't be jealous I don't play that game ..

1. Oh its Korean owned now. My bad. What makes it different? Japanese emoticons?
2. Yeah. Talk to any Android coder and give him an OS 10 device. Watch his reactions. So what does the OS capability have to do with funding???
3. Angry Birds is on BB world schmuck. That's the power of OS10, it allows you to put wanker apps from the Playstore on. Which other platform does that?

So basically dont have a point :)

I do have a point ..
1> You are wrong time and again .. Shows ur lack of knowledge ..That's what makes the ownership important and different ..Stop being a teenage girl and go beyond emoticons .. all your comment are about emoticons ..Omg ..
2> I am Android Coder .. My reaction.. - .. Bullshit - Plain loser..
3> So that's your achievement .. since you cant get devs to work for .your OS .. you try install from other OS stores .. Like playstore .. which itself is not a big achievement as OS 10 is not as different from android as a windows phone and iOS .. and yes funding has got everything to do with it .. OS may have capability .. Just like every other OS .. I don't know any OS with NO capability .. But if OS is not good enough .. You drown ..Just like Blackberry is .. :) .. Enjoy .your dying OS as long as you can .. BTW latest news for you .. Losing in India too LOL :)

Any chance that you're an android coder cause you were ex-java? Ever tried the BlackBerry SDK? Well point is moot. Your Apps will work here anyway.

Well, good news on funding cause the BlackBerry share price just went up. But to your point, you don't think portability is important... I rest my case. Btw.... windows is a good OS. And as for losing in India....makes no difference. With the ARPUs in India, no OTT player can ever make money there. Only cheap phones will get traction there.

BBM will need to get video and audio chat out cross platform asap, and tidy up the overall appearance if they expect to be number one. Fingers crossed.

Posted via CB10

Let's cautiously hope that they stick to their plan by releasing the video and voice calling and screen share and channels features before the end of this year to the Android and iOS versions. I believe BBM for BB10 is the only IM app that offers the screen share feature. That feature is incredibly powerful. Anyway, if BlackBerry can update BBM for Android and iOS in a timely fashion, then I think BBM will have long-term success. :]

Posted via CB10

I need three things outside of channels, voice, and video: 1) Improve battery consumption for iOS and Android when the app is left open. 2) Add the BB10 keyboard to BBM so that users can get a taste of what it's like to use the best virtual keyboard on the market - cue commercial, "You can type like this all of the time on a BlackBerry." 3) Add the ability to scan your contacts for email addresses corresponding to BlackBerry ID's to automatically invite or at least indicate who has BBM - for Android and iOS as well as BlackBerry. It would be neat if BBM would detect and notify you when one of your contacts has joined BBM, giving you the option to send an invite if you want.

BBM could go viral and people would be happier to use / keep it even with only a couple of contacts. Either way, an even bigger explosion in usage comes with video chat, voice calling, screen sharing, and channels.

Posted via CB10

Good ideas but they will not add the keyboard. People are already complaining that it's not more android in appearance - Holo.

The keyboard should stay a BlackBerry thing.

If you want the BlackBerry experience get a BlackBerry smartphone. How frustrating would you find it if apps in BlackBerry World reverted to android or ios keyboard by default.

It's actual time spent on BBM. Average per user.

Posted via the best phone ever. The white Z10.

Great to hear. Can't wait until they blow past all of them. It's not if rather when!

Posted via the best phone ever. The white Z10.

What matters more - engagement time or user base? I had some friends for dinner the other night and used the opportunity to 'forceinstall' bbm on a couple of samsungs. :) Then I start sharing links for interesting articles and videos to get them engaged. :)

But agree -BlackBerry should aim for voice+video for iOS and Android for the Holidays!


People are beginning to remember why they liked BlackBerry in the first placw.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

Where are the naysayers talking about "oh downloads doesn't mean anything" well here's your proof!

BBM channels: c00121c99 for some knowledge and c00123fca for some real hip hop

The headline is a bit misleading. Should read something like "New data shows that BBM engagement is already beating SOME competitors"

But neither did it say "beating *all* competitors", so its only misleading if you assume the wrong modifier; and of course we know what happens when we assume, don't we? ;-)

Was engagement data available before BBM was released on iOS and Android? I would be surprised if the 40 minute average wasn't actually a decline.

Z10 STL100-1 /

Maybe, maybe not. There's a novelty factor giving things a kick start now probably.

Regardless, this is apples to apples. Wouldn't have been a fair comparison before.

This is how you CB10, son!

mmmmm "106 MINUTES OF EN-LARGEMENT" I wanna try that

Typo on the article. Next time keep the "pump" out of sight when writing

Next time try reading the comments before you post, its already been mentioned numerous times . . .

Considering it was just released cross platform i'd say the numbers are greqt. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day and the other apps like Kik and what'sapp have always been cross platform. So, yeah.

Loving 10.2

If BBM works for windows phone...does that mean it will easily work on my Windows 8.1 Lenovo Desktops/tablets/ultrabooks?

There's rumour of a desktop client for PC. Don't think it's been 100% confirmed, but has been mentioned by BBRY staff, including at BB Jam Asia.

But no, having a WP8 version doesn't necessarily mean that it works on Windows too.

This is how you CB10, son!

Wish I knew someone with BBM so I could try it. My friends and family scoffed at the idea when I suggested that they get it. "Why do I need that when I can just text?" is always the response.

The advantage of any IM app over texting is better chat flow. There's no parsing of messages, no counting of characters.
With unlimited texting, this isn't always a factor though. People don't mind sending one sentence at a time with unlimited.

It's more social for sure. You can have a status, an avatar, use more emoticons and country flags etc. More dependable for sending pics & attachments too, in my experience.

The D & R is always going to be a big one for BBM.
And then there's Groups which can also include shared calendars, and functional multi-person chats, which doesn't work and sucks royally over text.

This is how you CB10, son!

"Kik blew ahead with 106 minutes of enlargement"

That's impressive. Oh and that's what she said lol

Posted via CB10

Noticed a lot of typos in articles, do you guys blog from your phones keyboard or what?

Posted via CB10

My theory is that typos create a "too-current-to-wait-for-proofreading" image that makes a tech blog look cutting edge. And not paying a writer or editor to actually edit copy keeps costs down, obviously. Win-win.

What does this all mean?

20 million users love to talk.

350 million have other things to do?

What a bizarre metric.

Either way - good to know people are interested in a BlackBerry product! Hope the pace of enlargement keeps up for the duration...

Posted via CB10

1. What is this metric measuring? Average of usage per day, week, month, .. ?

2. Additionally, what was bbm value before being on Android and IOS?

3. Are these values to be trusted? How did they measured?

Help please...! :)

Posted via CB10

1. I believe it's average time per "session." so when someone uses BBM, how long are they using it for. There's probably an allowance for downtime, but I don't know what it is here.

2. Not sure and curious, but the point is to measure how it's comparing to other cross-platform IM apps.

This is how you CB10, son!

Point number 2 is very valid, and important. What has BBM been at prior to this? The numbers also sound incomplete. no mention of iMessage, Hangouts or Whatsapp for the US. Context is everything, and there is very little context here.

My friends are deleting BBM and went back to Hangouts, Skype, WhatsApp and IM+. BBM on iPhone and Android is buggy and has lack of features.

Kik seems to have a large user base of porn-sharers on, and since sex is the strongest drive in both human nature as well as internet traffic, any other chat tool is at a disadvantage. (It took a while to phrase that comment on the *size* of user bases in a way that didn't scream for a reference to the "enlargement" typo in the article.)

It's too bad that on the Z10 you can't attach a signature to texts. I'd love to have the signature...

"this could have been done securely through BBM. Goto and dload"

Just make a custom Word Sub entry, like "ts" (for text sig) becomes that sig for you.

Easy workaround, plus then you can control you want to inform/annoy.

This is how you CB10, son!

Tap your search icon at the bottom of your desk top and search "word"
Select prediction and correction
Tap word substitution.

This is now my text sig...

This could have been done securely through BBM. Goto BBM.COM and download today

Sent from my newly made awesome White Z10

I too would like to know the context for these numbers.. i'm assuming it's average number of minutes per day users spend on the service, but is this just cross platform users? does it included Blackberry users? I can tell you I don't know anyone with a blackberry, WHO USES BBM that only spends 40 minutes a day on it.. I feel like i'm on it 800 minutes a day myself. Are the numbers obtained via survey or via actual stats from device use? I highlighted 'who uses bbm' above because there are a significant amount of older, legacy bb using professional who don't use bbm at all.. they don't use any social media.. but bbm is on their device and active... is that lowering the average? Whatsapp on the other hand would only be on your device if you installed it, so chances are you'd have a significantly lower amount of users who don't use it or any other service like it who are counted. Colour me curious..


I just read that BGR article.

The data is extracted from Android and iOS users who have installed a third-party app named "mobidia". This app among other features is able to measure how long you open apps. And since Android and iOS users tend to use one app at a time, that duration can be approximated with the usage time of a given app.

So to sum up the population is limited to Android or iOS users that are:
- either geek people who install that app to do some geek measuring
- or people who want to measure the data usage (one of the other features of that app)

My understanding is that :

the measure is not relevant yet. When I get a new toy, I tend using it a lot in the first days. After a while I will start either not using it, or mastering it and thus use it less (= use it more efficiently).
It's like someone who has been using BBM for the past 5 years, compared to someone who has been using BBM for the past 5 days. Not the same usage, not the same engagement.

measuring how long an app is opened can also mean that the app user interface is not practical and that you need more time to do things (try using Viber on a Curve 8900, compared to BBM7 on the same device and you'll understand...).

Could these engagement times just be skewed to the competitions favour ... I mean with BBM you're engagement times will and should be less because it's just that much more efficient!

Wife hates BBM for two reason and I don't blame her. She has to put her glasses on to read the bbm's and she doesn't have to with imessage. The font is not changeable and is too small. The second reason is that the notification sound is not very loud and is also unchangeable. For now i just don't reply to her text messages forcing her to use bbm but she keeps telling me she hates it. I'm hoping Blackberry reads these forms because i don't know where else to go to inform them. I so want BB to survive and thrive. Love my Z10....

OK, just saw the Mobidia app requirement as a source of data. Smells more like stealth advertising for that app than actual useful data.

Posted from my RIM 850 wireless handheld

So this metric is the result of some people on ios and android installing (of their own volition?) mobida?

In other words the geeky kind of person who would stay as long at front of an app? Or - for the conspiracy theorists... this is a scam setup?

However it pans out, this isn't really a true picture of anything other than the people that were (insert) enough to install that app.

Hmmmmm. Dunno. Sounds like something samsung would do.

Posted via CB10

Funny how they put BBM on IPhone and Android but they don't put Instagram ie Snapchat on BlackBerry ....... :/

Posted via CB10

I don't know what to say. I mean if the apps are there which they will cool, but what would be the point of the bbworld if you can get most of your apps on google's?
Also I considering its google store would these apps fit perfectly as to where your getting app another way and might not work as it should on the phone its working on?
Also if this is real what the hell does this mean?

Exactly. CRazy? They are so far behind the 8 ball here, and yet all they is congratulate themselves on this half hearted effort.

BBm Just cannot compete and is doomed without video and voice. It's just DOA.

Another colossal cockup from the team at Blackberry.