Next BBM update will bring photo sharing in multi-person chats, bigger emoticons and the ability to send larger files

By Adam Zeis on 28 Feb 2014 12:28 pm EST

The BBM team is on a roll cranking out the updates and today BlackBerry gave word that the next big one will have some long-awaited features as well. While there's no official date for the next update, it is definitely something to look forward to. It will bring along the ability to share photos in multi-person chats, larger emoticons and most importantly, the ability to share files up to 16MB within BBM.

The next release of BBM will support photo sharing in multi person chats. This comes as an addition to existing sharing options that exist in multi person chats – sending voice notes, sharing your location powered by Glympse, and sending files from your Dropbox account. We also understand that customers want to be able to send larger files through BBM. While our file size limit on shared files has historically been set at 6MB, we’re increasing this to 16MB in the next release of BBM. What this means is that you’ll be able to send bigger pictures, larger documents and longer videos. 

The file sharing has been plaguing BlackBerry users for ages, so it's glad to see that it's finally getting an update. We'll of course take the other new goodies along with it. 


Topics: BBM Apps

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

Reader comments

Next BBM update will bring photo sharing in multi-person chats, bigger emoticons and the ability to send larger files


Keep 'em coming!!
NEXT: BBM Video for ALL!!! Stay ahead of the game now that Whatsapp will be launching voice in the summer!

They actually are higher-res on the other person's phone. Oddly the originating device is the only one it looks jacked up on. I'm not sure if that was a small sacrifice to accommodate the lower model BBOS phones or not... but its an idea/

Didn't test that but it worked well between two Android devices and a Q10, even though only one Android had the beta. :D

Can see Guys from Canada read CB comments... Good move with sharing pictures in multiperson chat. Hope it will be simple sharing, not some reforming sharing discovering sharing anew?

[...] First ever London smartphone story powered by Z10:

What about video sharing? We also need full quality picture sharing without the request!

Posted via CB10


This is my main gripe with sending pictures over BBM. It should send the original picture (not compressed) by default.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry still has to keep data consumption down fir those that don't have a lot of data. I send my bro at least 60 pics a month. If he were on 500MB plan that would eat up a bunch of his data without him necessarily wanting it. He can request the higher quality pic later when he gets to a wifi hot spot.

How hard is it to request the HQ pic honestly?

Posted via CB10

Love it!! :D But really, it's no trouble at all to request a HQ pic if you want one. The majority of the time I don't need it or save the pic.

I'm surprised that you send 60 pictures a month and yet your brother doesn't complaint about requesting HQ for each picture. My brother sent me few this month after a marriage ceremony he attended and I had to ask him to either send me on Whatsapp or email me. You'll say I was lazy right but it's just not about the way it works but due to time difference by the time I had requested HQ, he would be asleep or busy with something else and when he gets time to check my requests, normally my request would have been expired and guess what? Once a HQ request is expired or it gets declined by mistake, you can't request again unless they re-send that picture. I love my BlackBerry cos of the flow of things on it but this is too time consuming and inconvenient for me at least and I'm sure many will agree with me on this. I understand your point of someone being on lower Internet plan but firstly I don't know anyone among my friends or family who have this issue and secondly how about giving an option in settings to change this rather than having it implemented by default so everyone will be happy.

I see where you are coming from. I do agree that the time out issue is my gripe but I think that the picture quality sent via BBM is better than that of WhatsApp because WhatsApp compress the pictures whilst BBM allows you to request for a HQ.

I prefer BBM because I receive 20 or 30 pictures a day & WhatsApp will mess up my pictures in my SD card. Whereas in BBM I only download those I wish to keep.

In WhatsApp I must download before I can view, in BBM I just view & download what I want to keep.

Posted via CB10

If they're important pictures. He should be sending it over email! I've heard whatsapp doesn't even send a full version of the pic. A bastardisation of it.

Very easy to address this... just have a setting for "always allow HD". and "allows download HD when authorized"... that way you can protect your data plan... and you can also just use high quality if you want.

Posted via CB10

It will be interesting to know how many people do know how to request higher quality pictures in BBM! :) I suspect that the percentage is 30-ish...

Missing the point entirely.

All it takes is ONE time for a person to be denied the ability to send a file, whether that file is 20MB or 500MB, and they'll use something else to get the job done, and in their mind, BBM "isn't good for doing THAT..." whatever that may be.

They have to go above and beyond what the competition has not play catchup if they want to really conpete

Posted via CB10

+ 100 this is small potatoes, start adding new features the comp doesn't have.

And how about read receipts in multi person chats.

Posted via CB10

Yeah, that's just great on fries.
16mb seemed a bit low to me, but then I thought that if they implement the dropbox functionality in a way that is seamless and "automatic" (like maybe if you try to send something over 16MB, that it would go through the dropbox functionality without the user having to take extra steps or receive error msg because of the size).

Posted via CB10

^this. If you work in IT, you would understand how costly it is to maintain your internal Infrastructure while still providing the best possible seamless communication solution.

Posted via CB10

Yes, but remember that the "Telegram" app is offering 1gig sized video transfer (according to the app description on Google play store and on Snap on my Q10).

Posted via CB10

Does telegram send the file p2p or actually upload the file to a server? If it is p2p then it explains how they do it without spending lots of money or degrading their service. That is a WHOLE ton of data. Imagine what would happen if 50 million people sent a 150mb video on new years. Boom go the servers, service down. It's just a matter of what is or is not feasible at such large scales. BBM isn't supposed to go down so it does not facilitate such things. Its supposed to just work.

If you are wondering how much data that would amount to on new years it would be 11.9209 Petabytes. That is absolutely absurd. They would have to have a ton of servers and bandwidth which went unused most of the year. Data centers cost money, if they sit doing nothing most of the time they are a huge waste of money.

People don't seem to get this. Use a file sharing service and then link it.

I'd be over the moon if someone sent me a 1gb file and it was automatic. Gives a me a reason to block them.

X3 or 50mb min some photos now days are getting large :(

The one and only Iphone wallpaper channel C001F26A0 no hate please I personally own a Q10 and 9900 :-)

Unless it's a tif or psd layered file, you'll be right. Even raw files you'll be right. Video sharing, now that will be an issue but hey there's a reason for 'cloud' servers with links.

Maybe one day Bbm will integrate online storage for larger files (not just Dropbox)

There is probably good reason not to allow unlimited file size (think accidental transmission of GB files), but I must admit that I was expecting bigger than 16MB.

That's not a good reason. Accidental..for those of us with unlimited data there is no accidental. :P

Posted via telegraph

How about most of the world where limited data plans are the norm?

Most of Europe, Canada and Asia have limited data plans. As far as I know the USA is one of the only areas in the world with the Unlimited Data options.

Please correct me if I'm wrong and identity where you are in the world. If you have a data plan identify what your monthly limit is.

Canada, limit 6GB on my plan.


We could still use common sense when sending large files. At least go up to 50 mb an have a wifi prompt after that

Posted via CB10

I have unlimited in Sweden where I live last 2 year and I had it in Croatia (also Europe) and my sister have it in Germany and my friend in Italy so Europe is pretty much cover with unlimited data

Hmm.. "accidental file transfer".. never happened to me in the past, not sure what would be different in that regard now..

"Server maintenance costs" is probably an argument that one could try to understand, but even then.. try to come up with a plan to lower the costs.. that's how you get an edge over others..

If cost is the problem for BlackBerry, then they have lost the race already because everyone else has way more money than them... too bad..

Posted via CB10

Yeah.. there is good reason. See meltbox 360 comments above.. and zensen comments above.. its traffic people.. wth more do you people want?

~ we have become a greedy & ungrateful people with insatiable hungers..

Posted from my Q10 (TMobile) Running OS as of 2.14.2014!

Server overhead. It's through bbm. And everything that goes through bbm goes through BlackBerry servers.

Very taxing


how is this different from any other cross platform? isn't Whatsapp 50 MB? i know i can send much bigger files. also a cool feature with whatsapp is if it's over the limi, it will send it in two portions. i still prefer bbm though. I'm just comparing it to the competition.

BlackBerry has to better than the competition at what they do ......

Be the best at what they don't ....

BlackBerry...Get it done

Posted via CB10

16MB? Not a large enough step forward. Being slightly behind or on par with the competition is no good. It will be welcomed change, but not a game changer.

Posted via CB10

Patience. Let's see how the servers hold up to 16mb, and then we'll push for more. You can't simply triple, quadruple, 10x the server load or you end up with another xBBM launch mess.

Still not doing it for me.... They should just strap the limit totally. I can't wait to see an update that will make the receiver downloading the file directly from their sever when they encouter any problem

That has to be in all things.

People will not take notice of BlackBerry until this happens.

Not just the Gold Standard but the Platinum Standard.

Create competition within the Sales division.

A Battle is won but the War continues...

BlackBerry...Get it done

Posted via CB10

The problem with file sizes is that the data flows through their servers. Removing a size limit might result in the servers crashing when everyone starts sending files that are hundreds of MB large.

Posted via CB10 on Z10

Still needs to be on par with whatsapp on all the other things, ie photo sharing in group, push to talk etc. Still very happy at the speed they are getting things done considering it's now x platform.

Posted via CB10 on my sexy white Z30 rocking

Yes I've been wishing for in-line photo sharing for Group Chat for years!

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

Photos in WhatsApp have less compression, but they are also blurry. And you don't have the option to request the original picture.

I think it would be nice if BlackBerry used the same amount of compression as WhatsApp, but leaving the option of requesting the HQ version.

Posted via CB10

This here, people don't realise that you don't get the original photo on WhatsApp.

At least you get the chance to on Bbm.

Really? I have one active Multiperson Chat. When I tap the paperclip icon, only option there currently is Dropbox.

Where do you see the option?

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

BBM will always be the exclusive messaging platform for me regardless of updates, but updates are welcome. :)

16mb is that much. A 15 sec video is 38mb. though its not what i was expecting its much appreciated to see this change. thanks BlackBerry

What is the likelihood of BBM monetizing large file transfers? Give users a generous monthly limit, say 1GB and require them to purchase additional data through BlackBerry World. If this was paired with the ability to send files to local network printers or even a bbm paired display, that would be swwweeet.

Posted via CB10

That's a good idea. A "BBM Pro" with unlimited, or at least very large capacity, file sharing.

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

I'm sorry but 16mb is still too small for videos...remember we are sending HD videos.....not 3gp anymore....50mb it should be to honest....

While BBM works great on my Z30, it's down right painful on iOS. There is so much lag especially in channels i refuse to run it on there. Many have complained how scrolling is not fluid and it's jittery the moment you even launch BBM. Channels is where a person notices it the worst.

Hope they address that, i know till they do i won't use it on iOS.

16MB file sharing is still far below this day and age maybe 5 years ago. It's pretty much useless now. It should be UNLIMITED..

Minimal complaints from the iOS users I know...I've seen it on the S4 and it works well.

Posted via CB10

A good carpenter doesn't blame his tools.. err toys..

Posted from my Q10 (TMobile) Running OS as of 2.14.2014!

Larger file size limit is great. However, I didn't see where they say about larger emoticons. Larger emoticons is very well wanted.

 CB10 

I wanted all these things so this is going to be a very welcome update.

Like Kevin says though there also needs to be delivery and read status for group chats.

Posted via CB10

If they do ever add that, hopefully it's optional.

I'm in a few large (20-30 members), very active BBM Groups, and I can see such notifications really clogging up the chat.

I'd be very curious to see how they'd implement it.

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

Nice. Speaking of Glympse, how about the ability to navigate to the location of whomever is sharing it with you? I like being able to see where my BBM contact is but, I would love voice guided navigation to that location.

Also, speaking of photos in multi-person chat. What about doing this in BBM groups? I wonder if this update will cover that too.

Posted via CB10

I sure hope we can share video in group chats and BBM Groups with this next update??

I flick all my words from my amazing BlackBerry Z10

Hopefully they fix the group chat on iOS and android where it automatically scrolls you down whenever a new message comes in. All my friends complain they can never catch up when the group is being very active. One friend found a work around which is turn on air plane mode on to catch up then turn it off which is is good but shouldn't have to be doing that.

Posted via CB10


BlackBerry FAN

Posted via CB10

Nope, not good enough.
Up it a whole 10 MB to 16 MB....
If I want to share a video of my kid running around for 30 seconds you are going to have to up it more then that!

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Maybe you shouldn't be sharing your 'kid running' via BlackBerry.. that's seems to be more of a facebook post imo..

Posted from my Q10 (TMobile) Running OS as of 2.14.2014!

Don't have Facebook. BBM is really the only way I share things with my family. Which most of them don't even have Facebook as well....

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Great updates!

For larger files, you can always share a link out of Box (and soon dropbox) and share files of any size. Even better with pics and videos set to upload to Box by default.

Required video, voice and location sharing in groups; also when opening a chat set focus to first unread message instead of sending to the end of the chat.

We also need Emoticons support in the HUB. I don't like to check my hub and see the emoticon code. It's happening with many of the new ones. Please fix!!!!!!!!!!

Posted via my Z10

Folks are never happy are they...its always better to complain than say thank you. What a bunch of whiners! Keep on rolling BlackBerry and thanks for this!

+1,000,000 I coudn't agree with you more. : )
For all that Blackberry has done and is continuing to do people are ungrateful turds..absolutely amazes me.. lol

Posted from my Q10 (TMobile) Running OS as of 2.14.2014!

It's great that the BBM team is listening to our feedback and working on requested features. But like everybody else, I want the limit to be taken off completely. I want to ask the question...Can BlackBerry afford to do it at this point with their current BBM infrastructure?

Posted via CB10

Awesome. Looking forward to larger file transfers but wish it was more like 50MB at least on WIFI. Oh. Well, better than it is now. :)

Fantastic! But only one major thing missing is BBM Video for non-BB phones.
Why not have it added to the list of awesome goodies for the next update for once and all while BlackBerry is at it? *scratch my head* Just wondering..

The way I read it, Groups will still not have in-line pictures after this update right? I kind of prefer it that way because I am in groups that are VERY over-active in sharing random pictures. But at least there should be a shortcut for sharing pictures from a chat.

I hope the file size will be enlarged further if it stays stable. And maybe add Box as an option instead of Dropbox, for cloud sharing.

But most of all I am hoping for high quality Display Pictures. The current max for .gif files is ridiculous, and even normal pictures are low quality when looking at contact details.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

Oh, and of course BBM Video, more emoji's (and support in Hub, xplatform) and more options for Channels.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

Remember folks, BBM has to encrypt the message and thus the file you want to send. There is a price for security, so there will probably always be a cap so that they can manage the load and ensure that the message and file actually gets sent in a timely fashion.

Actually, BBM only compress the traffic, it doesn't "encrypt" it as you infer. Encryption is only for legacy devices and BB10 with BES. I just read a few articles about that as I asked myself that question.

That's too bad though as I would greatly prefer for the BBM traffic to be fully encrypted...

Posted via CB10

I'm very happy... Keep it up BlackBerry's rise to dominance is ready for lift off

Posted via CB10

The only thing it's going to need is file sharing in groups. That way I could easily manage small projects only in BBM. Please bring us that feature!

That would be so sweet.

What I would love to see is a BlackBerry cloud solution with full encryption to and from BB10 devices. I would pay for that. I would never put my personal and professional files on dropbox or box...

Posted via CB10

I'd like multiple files select when sending them to a bbm contact and also no more requesting for high quality pictures

Posted via CB10

Sry, is there a reason why just 16? I don't want complain.. but 16 is still nothing!

Since 2010 

Wow, I finally feel like there is hope. BlackBerry is actually listening! I've been asking for those upgrades for quite some time now. That's great news and it will definately attract WhatsApp users to BBM. Now if they can only make the size of the pictures bigger like on WhatsApp and bring BBM Video to Android, iPhone and Windows. We'd be set! WhatsApp can't top that! Ok, I won't be pushy!

Posted via CB10

What about having the ability to send multiple pictures in one go, rather than one by one. Current if you select more than one picture, BBM is not an option to share. I find this annoying.

Posted via CB10

Please add sharing multiple files too!!!
It's sucks having to send one picture at a time. Why the he'll does whatsapp have it and BBM doesn't.
My friends and have two group chats. One on BBM and the other is whatsapp. Guess which one we never use? I was so happy we were using BBM when whatsapp had the server crisis.
Upgrade your game! And fast!

Posted via CB10

My guess is this will be available before Verizon pushes out 10.2.1 making it impossible for me to upgrade to the new BBM.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

We need instant photosharing in bbm groups!managed to get my groupfriends from whatsapp over to bbm but it's Sucks that the pictures posted in groups are in a sepperate place!

Posted via CB10

I can see everyone's point about overloading servers but BlackBerry do need to be ahead of WhatsApp with features and not playing catch up! Let's hope this goes well and another limit change to at least 50mb is implemented.

Posted via CB10

Really hope they add multiple picture sharing too. You can do it now but I'd prefer selecting multiple pics in one shot rather than one pic at a time... thanks BBM team! long live bb!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

They need to improve the channels experience as loads of people on iOS and android devices can't access the content or the app lags whenever the channels tab is opened...moreover, as a channel admin and subscriber, a couple of features can be added to improve the entire experience:
The ability to add video links and play them within the channel post.
The ability to select multiple comments and like them as well.
The integration of channels with BBM shop for monetization.
The ability to add albums(more than one picture) while uploading posts.
An opinion poll like system, where the subscriber votes for something to be posted on the channel.
Multiple admin access.
Addition of categories so that the subscriber can easily sift through hundreds of channels.

Posted via CB10

BB had a chance to replace WhatsApp and all other new messenger, but BBM got bad ratings on all devices, bad security level AND BB collect private data for giving personal ads.

Sorry but this is a reason why my friends arent use BBM, the reason why im not use BBM and the reason why the most people will find a new messenger. I hope I can use the new one on my Q10.

Fantastic stuff! Now please BlackBerry make my display picture clean and crisp and not blurry anymore! Also please allow video sharing and file sharing in groups as well as location sharing

imessage can send 100MB files, why are we only upping it to 16MB? What's app is 16MB as well, so lets jump over them and go to 50 or 100 or 150 and jump ahead of imessage.

Give me a premium service with large size / HD file sharing (both video and photo), access to add-ons (stickers, magazine subscriptions via channels, etc), and direct-number calling, and I WILL PAY YOU!!!

Posted via CB10

Good! Get it out to the public FAST but, just as important, make sure it works before you do.
Thank You!

Also good to send different formats like .gif.
My concern is the video, I shoot 20s for 20 Mo, give us option to different video size...sorry maybe off topic...

Posted via CB10

I want to be able to broadcast a picture to all my contacts. Make it happen please.

Posted via CB10

Why not more? Just give the receiving person the right to refuse with a warning that states that the file is X and the user is responsible for charges. Have the pop-up come up at anything over 25 MB.

Posted via CB10

16? Are you f***ing with me?
That's exactly 7 or 8 seconds of video...
You should make the camera record lower resolution then... or shrink them for sending over bbm...

Posted via CB10 on my Z10STL100-

It's great to be able to transfer larger file sizes, but I honestly don't understand all the griping about sharing videos. It is pretty simple to shrink a 20 second/20 MB video down to

the BB gods have finally heard my prayers!!! hallelujah!!

ooh wait wait wait...nevermind...this is not pic sharing in groups...just multi-person chats...I'll continue to pray

That's good news for BlackBerry because I been herein alot of people say that's why they use whatsapp because you can send bigger files but what they forgot was that there file is still not safe Sending thru whatsapp!

Posted via CB10

I hope sending multiple pics/files through bbm will be supported too later. :)

Posted via CB10

They should also include the blackberry 10 keyboard for cross platform users intergrated with the app or atleast have the the ability to have it optional that would be awesome have bbm with the blackberry 10 keyboard experience to go with it :)

Awesome!!! But not being ungrateful or anything... but 16Mb? They should be doing something more than just 16.. 16 is not exactly competing with the competition....

Posted via CB10

I just switched my group of friends from group chat to multi-person chat coz they have been complaining that the group chat is confusing & they don't now where is the last message.

I see we cannot even send pictures in the multi person chat. We can only use dropbox to send files to people. Why are they restricting us like that ?

Posted via CB10

Hope one is those cute stickers that are in Facebook chat... we can see but can't. send.... I want to send when I receive..

Posted via CB10

Also required is sharing multiple pictures together like we can share 10 pictures in whatsapp in single attempt.

Posted via CB10 on Z10STL100-1/

On my device, gif emotes have become picture emotes. gif emotes worked on 1925. hope that it correct release number. Anyway, would like it fixed! Missing gifs working correctly.


You know what would be a hit for bbm vs whatsapp, is that if bbm can use phone numbers of your contact list and find everybody who has bbm and add them to the suggested list in the invite. Therefore it is more secure and your contact list is not automatically added to your bbm contact list like whatsapp. This might beat all the IM out there and add more users as fast as whatsapp but more secure.

Posted via CB10

It would be great if the update would allow the sharing of files within Groups. Currently in groups, you can only share photos, set dates and make lists.

Posted via CB10

Installed BBM on a family Android handset and it was dead in half a day!
Is this a known issue?
After uninstalling BBM battery life back to normal!
That was disappointing as was the lack of multi person photo sharing.
Well, I see one issue has been addressed so, any info on the battery draining?

Posted via CB10

Bring on the video chat. And for Pete's sake charge me 10 bucks or something a year for the service. There is a class of consumers who are willing to pay for service especially if they are reassured their privacy and security are respected.

Okay so I hope they're working on updating BBM on IOS and Android so that I can actually feel free to tell some of my friends to download it without any issues and some nice features.

I have 0 contacts and it would be nice to have at least 2 for once!!! Haha

Come on BLACKBERRY BBM is a really big part of everything and it's a great messaging app for BB10 and potentially everyone!

Can we please have multi picture share? One can send upto 10 pictures at the time using whatsapp. It would be great if we could do the same using BBM. I think BBM needs to take the best features from its main competitors and implement them on BBM ie video call, multi picture sharing only then people will see BBM as genuine good I'm app

Posted via CB10

Personally, I'm glad the emoticons are getting larger. They're fine when selecting them, but the ones that actually get sent are too small for my (aging) eyes to discern sometimes without squinting.

Let's make BBM more challenging. Well, I've come to realize one thing about BBM verses Whatsapp. Now people that have Whatsapp will certainly agree with me that you are able to send or share large files with friends etc while with BBM is limited. This is my suggestion to people of BBM team to increase file size sharing from 6MB to probably like 1GB. This can also beat our competitors and also allow more people to download BBM as well.

Love BBM and love the awesome new update to BBM 2.0. But I can honestly say (and I think many would agree here) that every time BlackBerry comes out with some sort of update or upgrade, it's already old, and it has been preceded by something else already on the market, phone or this case more so wrt BBM.

Size: BlackBerry is increasing file size to 16, Whatsapp just increased and I think even removed their 16 mb limit in thé last update. BBM should at least do 20 or 25mb...if not remove the limit altogether.

Video: BBM *NEEDS* video capability integrated into the chat, and that's group or individual. And I don't mean the link, but the ACTUAL video file to be played within the our other friend, Hangouts. Whatsapp has video capability also, and the ability to edit the video within the chat.

D and R: this is what makes BBM, but why only reservation this for individual chats and not group chats. It would be great to know WHO within the group chat received and Read the message, gît the picture, etc. Hangouts took that great feature from BBM (D & R), and implemented it in a very effective way...leaving BBM in thé dust.

BBM (and BlackBerry in general) has ti break the mold. You can't come up with innovative mobile solutions, only to be restricted and by technical software limitations ie 16 mb; they will not succeed. Oh wow 16 mb limit...already old!! Go bold or go home!

Posted via CB10

BBM (as well as BlackBerry) needs to change/reinvent the game...NOT keep up with it! +1@ Don...1 GB or more, and advertise it!

Posted via CB10