We salute you Gary Klassen, Inventor of BlackBerry Messenger!

Gary Klassen, Inventor of BlackBerry Messenger
By Kevin Michaluk on 20 Oct 2011 12:36 pm EDT

We all know BlackBerry Messenger is one of the biggest hooks the BlackBerry platform has. Research In Motion originally made its mark in the world with push email, but in recent years it is BBM that has become the killer feature the company gets the most kudos for. Especially in the consumer space, BlackBerry Messenger is the must-have application that attracts people to buying a BlackBerry Smartphone and keeps them from switching to another platform when it comes time to upgrade. I'm not going to try and calculate where RIM would be today if they did not have BBM - all I know is they would not be in nearly as good a position.

Ever wonder who actually invented BlackBerry Messenger? You're looking at him above. That's Gary Klassen, a Software Developer at Research In Motion for over 10 years now, and he is the man who literally wrote the code for version 1.0 of BlackBerry Messenger. Walking through the hallways of DevCon yesterday, I got on my knees and bowed to him after he was introduced to me as such. Seriously, this guy is a celebrity in my book. Statues should be erected in Gary's honor.  

Companies are made of people and all too often it's the company itself and/or its founders who get to reap the credit for innovations produced. But I like to give credit where credit is due. And to that end, I say Gary Klassen... CrackBerry Nation salutes you. THANK YOU!!

Reader comments

We salute you Gary Klassen, Inventor of BlackBerry Messenger!


This is by far, IMO, to date, one of the best bits of news from Devcon! Gary, you're the "Nation's" hero. Did you guys ask him if he had anymore neat tricks up his sleeves?

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My great respect for this guy. Now if we only had a few more of his kind of people walking through the buildings of RIM...

BBM has been RIM's saviour & knight in shining armor!

Without BBM, folks would easily move to other platforms. Now that BBM has helped RIM bridge these slim times, hope we see some killer devices in the early part of 2012. Mike did promise some snazzy stuff at DevCon, but I've not seen any devices at all!!!

BBM always wins the tug of war vs other platforms with me. I'm here for good cuz of you now!! Thanks! And make iChat go Bye-Chat...Peace!!!

Cool post, Kevin. It's awesome to connect a person to the technology since BBM and BBs overall are so much more than 1s and 0s. And to finally see someone from RIM who is NOT Balsille or Lazaridis.

And, nice work, Gary!

Now that is pretty cool, him being so low key is also really nice.

Too bad BBM wont save RIM if they dont put something together asap. RIP RIM

You the man, Thanks for being so awesome :D and Thanks from the rest of "The Phone World" for developing the baseline of instant messaging on phones, because we all know that everyone is trying so hard to develop anything to work the way BBM does. So again THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!

Gary Be Thy Name

If RIM has any thoughts of offering BBM to any other platform other than BB's in the future, MAKE'M PAY thru the nose for the privilege of having such as awesome communication tool!

But honestly, I would opt to keep it only for bb's. Just my opinion. ;o)


Instead of bowing to Gary , God bless him , show RIM the reactions of the Porsche designed phone !!!!! RIM"s Edsel phone!!!! Sorry but after the disappointed Devcon and now this.....i am considering leaving RIM.....

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Much Love and Respect for that Man, all the Way from South Africa, Give that man anything he wants!. Salute!.

YOU are the Man Gary! I seriously use BBM every other second of the day, i can't imagine my life without it. Thank you! i hope you read all these posts and realize how much of an impact you made on every BBM User!

Once upon a time. This was a great idea...

Today its a useless platform. Single platform messaging is flat out stupid in todays smartphone market. Only crackberry freaks use bbm religiously. And in reality is easily replacable by google chat and a multitude of other instant messaging apps that can be used across many platforms and on computers.

Bbm is dying with blackberry phones. I only use a blackberry for the keyboard. I'm not a touch screen typer.

As a software engineer and BlackBerry developer, I look up to this guy.
To be able to create something so powerful and so addicting.
Something that even swayed a lot of people to stick with a BlackBerry.
A true visionary here.

Good job Kevin of giving him his props!!! He certainly deserves it for sure!!! Because right now with my upgrade coming in a month BBM is the ONLY reason im sticking with Blackberry!

Is he a member of crackberry? if he is not, i think Kevin should make him a crackberry nation hall of famer!

So Kevin, you said it yourself... "BlackBerry Messenger is the must-have application that attracts people to buying a BlackBerry Smartphone and keeps them from switching to another platform when it comes time to upgrade. "

So now please tell me why having multiplatform BBM will benefit BlackBerry, other than the BB reputation...

Who is going to buy a Z10, when they can get an iPhone and STILL have BBM? Surely they're driving customers away??

Then... The app will be FREE?! I pay for my BBM, wth?

Please answer my question :D tell me why this is a good decision for BlackBerry??

I told my current iPhone friends and they all said that they don't care, they've got What'sApp, Skype nd SnapChat! They're not even bothered about BBM on multiplatform... AND, some don't even want it!

I bought a Z10 for other reasons. Didn't know about BBM except that it was blackberry s' proprietary thing.

After I installed thousands of contacts I saw that no one had BBM. Didn't feel upset, never used BBM.

Yes ive used chat and i know what it does compared to email. Now, I'll be glad to learn more about BBM in a few months from now when other people statt using it.

Btw I downloaded Whatsapp and found it not all that great -- although im sure it's good for those who pay per text.