New survey shows BBM is still going strong

By Adam Zeis on 27 Nov 2013 09:08 am EST

Things have quieted down a bit on the BBM front for iOS and Android, but just because we're not hearing things, doesn't mean nothing is happening. According to a new Distimo survey, BBM is still going very strong in some key markets. 

BBM had a great start out of the gate. The app saw over 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours on Android and iOS and quickly shot up to the top of the app stores before ultimately seeing over 20 million added installs overall. We're sure that those numbers are still growing at this point and Distimo shows off a bit of what's going down in some regions.

The survey for iOS downloads shows stats from the period of October 21 to November 21st. As you can see in the chart, BBM has shown a great performance in the UK, India and even South Africa. In both India and the UK, BBM nudged out all other IM apps while Snapchat and WhataApp pulled in a narrow lead in other areas. 

These numbers do fluctuate (quite often) so anything can change from week to week, but it's awesome to see BBM doing so well thus far. With bigger things to come like BBM Channels, Voice and Video we can hope that the BBM push keeps getting stronger.

Topics: BBM Apps

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

Reader comments

New survey shows BBM is still going strong


Well done. You get a gold star for the creative use of word "first".

Posted via CB10

I would have thought BBM had much more downloads than the other competitors. I think it's a horrible sign - most of people have already these other competitors IM even still they have similar download share like BBM?!? In UK for example everybody has Whatsapp already installed but instead BBM 34% vs Whatsapp 27%. For being a good news it should be like 60% 10%

Interesting comments, Dave79, and worth some worry. I'm wondering if people registered with WhatsApp have to re-download the app when they pay their annual subscription fee of 99 cents. Perhaps that's where some of their download numbers come from. Also, they have something like a total of 350 million subscribers worldwide, which puts a huge amount of pressure on all of those subscribers' connections to subscribe. All in all, I think it's pretty remarkable that, so soon after its launch, BBM is more than holding its own in developed countries against the established #1.

Just wanted to add that the Distimo chart is for iOS downloads exclusively. I wonder what the download percentages are for the full spectrum of smartphone users in markets worldwide, from the highest end (iOS, BB10, upper range of Androids) to the lowest (the cheapest Androids, Micromax, etc.). App Annie figures show that BBM is still the #1 free app download (overall) in a lot of Caribbean countries, not just the #1 messaging app.

i see, "first" doesn't seem to be a constructive comment.

well bbm look to be enjoying "first" in a couple of areas!


hahaha idiot, you didn't get first! And CB is trying to stop you bloody pathetic losers from posting first

I like how your posts are just as worthless as the first posts. Good job genius!

Posted via CB10

Perfectly good beer just shoot out of my nose... :)

Z30, and yes, it's a bit on the heavy side..., but the Carbonate case is Killer!

Do those comments get you every time, or is this really the first time you've read through this sort of banter?

Wow, two birds one stone if there ever was!

With BBM going cross platform I am now connected to at least 20 contacts who use it daily, when before I had only 2 BBM contacts. One being Kevin the other being KeyBoard Love Keys To The City.

Well, first, go f*** yourself with your "idiot".
Second, I was asking about France, not Europe, just France, so you do what you want but let me ask what I want and don't bother me.

Posted via CB10 on the Z10 from France.

Glad BBM is going strong, but this most recent update (11-27-2013) where the "contacts" icon is replaced by an "updates" icon and you have to hit "menu>contacts" to simply select a contact, is a big step backwards and really takes away from the ease of use for BBM. Why BB decided to change from the default opening of your "contacts" list so you could immediately select who you want to message is beyond me....

I thought that was to add a contact. So that makes it a LITTLE better, but still, not opening directly to "contacts" is backwards....

I guess but from another point of view it is just in a different area of the same screen. Changing our habits again I guess :(

Posted via CB10 on the Q10 | BBM Channel: C002672A0

Chris Umiastowski mentioned push to talk. Still no word on this. Release bbm video, bbm talk and bbm push to talk. This will make the ultimate IM platform

Posted via CB10

When it goes cross-platform, voice and video will do the difference, along with Channels if it was marketed well to the people

I really hope they don't take too long releasing voice and video calling! I say at the beginning of February the latest!

Posted via Q10

I'm going to snap if I see one more BBM study without Canada info. We are a G8 country and have completely different attitudes to BBM than the U.S.

Posted from my Q10 on the West Coast

Just wondering - is BBM first in Canada? What is the rank? Perhaps the survey results are more meaningful with the exclusion of those with an affinity to all things BlackBerry.

If they had voice and video for Android and ios, they would dominate. They need to get this out ASAP and not get left behind again.

Posted via CB10

+10.2! I completely agree with you! Let's cautiously hope that Blackberry releases the video and voice calling features before the end of this year.

Let BlackBerry work out the issues associated with bbm first and then release bbm video and voice.

I really think the D and R indicators for messages sent to non-BB users needs to be instantaneous. The current delay is jot acceptable. Between BlackBerry 's, the indicators show up instantaneously.

Whenever I have tried BBMing my family members on their Nexus 7, GS3 and GNote, the delivered and reads seems to be instant. Their devices ring and the D goes on the screen. Click on the message and R appears instantly too. Never had an issue that way.

I've had a few message delays though to BB devices as well as Androids.

"I really think the D and R indicators for messages sent to non-BB users needs to be instantaneous. The current delay is jot acceptable. Between BlackBerry 's, the indicators show up instantaneously."

You are completely correct. My android and apple contacts are unhappy with the performance as the service often takes many hours to connect. It is unreliable among non- Blackberry users to say the least. I even have one Android contact with the latest OS where BBM won't recognize us as contacts even when we scan each others pins. I have had to resend pictures that my BBM says were sent but the receiver told me never arrived and apparently were lost. Again I really Like BBM and my Z10 but the glitches have convinced my friends that Blackberrys are nothing but a problem and I can't argue their point when I see what is happening.

I wonder why that is happening? I have added two iPhone users to my BBM list, and have played with it between my Z30 and S3. Never had any issues, as well as to my son's Z10. Strange that some are getting issues, while others are not. Is it still happening? Maybe BB was still having to add servers or do other tweaks?
Also, I'm not sure why so many view some of these issues as unusual. I find it funny that apple has a reputation of "things just work" when in reality they also have lots of glitches. They just had to update iOS to 7.0.4 to fix Facetime glitches, and my friends have all kinds of issues. There is just a belief that it is best, and nothing else works as seemless, which is so false. I had issues just setting up my iTunes ID when we got an iPad, my wife's iPhone no longer wants to show Netflix or Youtube apps, even after a complete restore. My business partner often complains of issues with his iPhone.

I'm hoping desktop comes out soon also, think it will destroy Skype if and when they release it

Posted via CB10

I am actually surprised here in Canada the number of new BB10 devices I am seeing, considering advertising and carrier support are completely dismal.

Trolls should be forced to use BB10!

What happened to the black theme on BBM after the latest upgrade? Q10SQN100-2/

Keep The Faith

BBM voice is simply awesome. Had a one hour conversation between USA and India, both sides using Z10. Leaves Facetime in the dust.

Posted via CB10, Z10/STL100-3/

BBM messages are not getting delivered to iOS and Android, sometimes it gets delivered the next day. Where as WhatsApp msgs have no problem. Anyone else facing similar problems?

Yes, almost all of my contacts are on Android and we're having terrible problems with reliability and delays, especially within a BBM group we set up. Yesterday I received an SMS from one group member asking me if I had read his BBM message. As soon as I opened BBM about 20 messages from the group came piling in, and this wasn't the first time that happened. I was the guy who pushed everyone to use BBM and now the others members want to switch to Hangouts or Whatsapp. So disappointing.

I'm facing exactly the same here.
Friends that I made install BBM are laughing at me because it just doesn't work reliably. Most of them went back to Whatsapp already, and keep BBM installed only to do me a favour.

From a Android perspective, I think a combination of having the device "Power Saving" feature ON and the BBM "BBM Connected" option OFF affects the issue.

We've all enabled the BBM Connected icon (which wouldn't be so bad if they used that same icon and changed it to indicate new messages instead of having two icons in the notification area). It hasn't helped. Blaming it on a "Power Saving" feature tells me I need to just give up on BBM.

Its time BBRY realised that WP and Nokia are here to stay and released BBM for WP8. I am still stuck in some old groups on whatsapp that are impossible to move to BBM because some people are on WP8. (I just hope BBRY hasnt made half hearted jobs their trademark.)

This is why I say this site contributed to BlackBerry's fall. When th called this site the first day I was concerned, so was I when Chen did.

Make no mistake, I am a loyal fan of this site and I have been supporting BlackBerry since 1999.

Yes, BBM has unique features and is the best for co-ordination among members of small groups. It is also the best for one on one communication . But Bbm has many limitations to become the main stream messaging or social net system. Many such systems boomed because of their viral group chatting features. BBM's group chat is not as engaging as others; hardly can it become viral.

I would rather see this site gives BlackBerry a wakeup call. In fact I am less concerned about Mr. Chen calling this site because he wants to hear more about problems.

I sincerely hope the readers of this site can evaluate other systems and then help BlackBerry make BBM the most popular of all.


BBM is dead in Asia. Maybe BlackBerry never targeted Asia in the 1st place!!!

Posted via CB10

A Lot if my iPhone friends are deleting BBM and a lot of people on twitter are sing it's lame, blackberry you need to step up be fore it is to late

Posted via CB10

Downloaded on our kids ipods, it's a great way to get their attention.

Also on our ipod.

Hope to see channels, audio and video features soon too.

Posted via CB10

Release voice and video and competition is cooked forever. This includes Skype

Posted via CB10

What would be interesting if to know how much of a sustained effect after the initial launch has BBM had. The percentage are inclusive of BBM initial launch, whereas other platforms have ongoing stats. For me, that's the difference. Still bodes well for BBM-X though!

Good to hear, with BBM now pre installed on some devices the numbers have to get even better.

well, let's be honest, WhatsApp has been around since 2009. Everyone has it now, especially in the US so there is no need to download it again...that's why we see a small 18%. Waiting for the day Blackberry communicate on 25 billion messages sent and received daily through BBM...

If BBM getting vedio chat and voice chat for iPhone and Android apps, I'm sure BBM will be nomber 1 app around the world

Posted via CB10

Only if all the compatibility issues are sorted, then bbm will have a good chance of being No 1

Posted via CB10

Downloaded the new update this morning and they pushed an spam update from my account (without consent): "You said: 'BBM for Android and iPhone is here. Spread the word - Get it at!"

That's a pissoff and a totally grossly amateur move. How desperate is this company?

If I want to push bbm on people, I will. But nowhere in the update did it say the update entailed auto-spam that would be pushed from my account and would post something befitting of a teenage girl. Assholes...

Q10 user

Not doubting what you said, but this didn't happen to mine. I saw the system msg come in from BB, and I quickly deleted it. I don't think there was an option to broadcast it in the system msg.

Happend to mine too. Went out in my status update making it look like I am spamming. How do i delete it? can't seem to find the option.

Weird mine didn't push out the spam; I selected an option to do so. Are you sure you didn't misread a screen and accidently give it permission to do so? Because definitely if it posted to facebook it was in a little pop down at the top of the screen and I clicked the button and it posted to facebook. If you clicked the x it closed without posting to facebook like my girlfriend did.

I live in the US... so 1 in 4 smartphone users that are using an IM should have BBM?

Must be in the wrong part of the US. I got six people to try it and they gave up.... but I guess they would still count based on the criteria of this survey.

Rather than releasing one BBM related success story after the other, I would appreciate CB to release an article about the severe problems of BBM on iOS and Android, that many users here have been discussing, related to speed and reliability of message delivery, confusing display of icons in groups, etc. etc.
I lost most iOS BBM friends already, and chances to win them back are minimal. They simply refuse to use BBM, as the service is so unreliable and sometimes confusing.
Just praising BBRY for having released something on other platforms, which does not work properly and makes new users want to escape as quickly as possible won't help anybody. We need to push BBRY forward to get this fixed to succeed. If not too late already.

+10.2! I completely agree with you on that! I think Blackberry should have done this like 3 years ago or something. If they did that, then the service would be a lot more reliable especially for non-BB users and BBM would be in a lot better shape than what it is now.

I think It was Chris Umiastowski who had a good point on the BBM usage. I think he said the downloads are the first part of the story and that sustained usage over time will be important for BBM, but those figures won't be clear for a couple months.

BBRY needs to make sure it quickens the notifications on both iOS and Android to ensure BBM messages always gets delivered. Increase reliability to almost BlackBerry levels and adoption will grow. Right now I'm hearing complains from some ppl that they don't get messages instantly and sometimes it's not as reliable as if it were on BlackBerry.

I've managed to convince a lot of iOS users and some Android users to give it a try. However I'm waiting before advocating it further. BBM has so many severe bugs and limitations (especially on iOS) that people are just laughing and want to leave it. I can't blame them as I have a loaner iPhone 5 just for BBM and have seen it myself. I'm disappointed that nothing has been done to fix these major problems since its launch over a month ago. The silence from BBM on Twitter/FB is also discouraging.

As much as I love BBM, I've come to realize it's only great with 1:1 communication - even on BlackBerry devices. Other platforms like the latest Facebook messenger client are far better with multi-person chats and provide similar delivery speed and better read message indicators (once the defining characteristic of BBM.) Let's not even go into Facebook's ability to message across multiple devices or desktops seamlessly.

BBM core messaging is broken. Voice, conferencing, etc. features can wait. BlackBerry must fix the truncated lockscreen notification messages on iOS which lead nowhere when swiped, add reliable and timely delivery, make groups work or shut it down altogether (they are unusable now) add pictures and files to multi-person chats, etc. Only then will I bring another 80+ users on board; anytime before will just hurt the brand.

Posted via CB10

100% agreement.
Make the basic functions work properly first, before putting focus on new features like video etc.
Having voice & video while basic chatting & group functions are unreliable will lead nowhere and chase away the few new users that BBM supporters like myself and many others have tried to get on board over the last weeks.
And, be VERY quick with getting this fixed. The window of opportunity has almost closed.

And this I almost forgot: we need landscape mode typing on BBM for iOS!
iOS users simply hate typing in protrait mode on their iPhones.
Whatsapp allows for landscape typing!

Most of the ppl I tell are too fucking dumb to understand why bbm is better. Send me a text. Send me a message on voxer, call my uncle working in Africa. Can all be done by bbm. Why use three or four apps when you can use one, secure, private, instant, it's bbm

Sent via Zed10

I'm in Sweden working for a month ! BBM and Blackberry is totally dead here. They are laughing my Z10!
Everybody has IPhone or Samsung! :(

BBM fails without even simple picture and media sharing in a multiperson chat. Who's able to explain it to People who were never using BBM before? They do say BBM is yet another instant messenger. How about surveys checking long term usability of BBM for new Users?

[...] BBs always for young professionals - new BYOD hero:

These are absolutely not good numbers. Whatsapp gets downloaded more even though they already had the biggest piece of the cake. So these numbers are far from impressive. The only thing it shows is mild interest for bbm.

And on a personal base, it's not going good either. Former bbm-ers prefer to stick with whatsapp. Yes, bbm is better, but we've gotten used to whatsapp now: is the answer I get. Ever since going cross platfrom I've added 3 more contacts, and all 3 contact me through whatsapp. I fear BB played the ball too late...

Major issue with Bbm is the lack of sending pictures on group chat made. Another is not knowing unread messages. Wish BlackBerry could correct these

Posted via CB10

Not knowing unread messages? That's one of the things it does do that other's don't. You can see if they've opened the message by the icon on the side, you know that right?

Posted via CB10