What is BBM really competing against?

By Chris Umiastowski on 31 Oct 2013 11:32 am EDT

We're now just past the one week mark in the cross-platform BBM rollout and things are clearly going well. They've added 20 million new monthly active users in this time, and the numbers keep rising as indicated by the fact that BBM still ranks as one of the most popular free downloads on iOS and Android across dozens of countries.

I've been very active in pushing people to download the app, and so I feel a bit like a salesperson. Sometimes people buy. Sometimes you get rejected. Sales people call it the "sea of rejection". When this happens I'm always interested in the reason behind the rejection. Keep in mind I've spoken to dozens of people, not thousands. So this is not a vast set of data on which to draw conclusions, but my overall sense is that the real competition is SMS, not other IM applications.

Other services like WhatsApp have come up in conversation, but they are usually the second or third reason for rejecting my BBM sales pitch. Almost always, the person starts by telling me they're perfectly happy with either normal text messages or iMessage.

But here's the thing:  Among most of my iPhone-toting non-tech friends, they don't distinguish between the two services. They see iMessage as an SMS app, and many of them don't realize the app defaults to SMS only when the other person isn't on an iPhone too.

Among Android users there is no iMessage, and the most common response is "Why do I need BBM when I can already send texts?" 

In the long run it seems obvious that a true cross-platform IM app will beat out SMS. And nothing would please me more than to see BBM become that app

The reality is this: SMS is the biggest and most well-known text chat service available on a cross-platform basis. People are totally fine with the idea of having to text, being limited to one device, and since they often don't know what they're missing (speed, delivery and read confirmation, groups, and much more) they don't see the value. Yet at the same time, it seems totally obvious that SMS will die. It's ancient technology. It's not getting better in any appreciable way. It will never compete with a real IM service.

In the long run it seems obvious that a true cross-platform IM app will beat out SMS. And nothing would please me more than to see BBM become that app.

Apple has it right with iMessage. I don't mean by keeping the IM features closed inside of Apple, but by combining the SMS app and the IM app together in a single interface. That was absolutely smart. Google's Hangouts app is doing the same thing, making it one step closer to an all-in-one solution for mobile messaging, SMS and video. It only stands to reason that BBM should be upgraded (and fast) to include SMS support.

SMS is like the ship that's very slowly sinking. All the passengers on that ship are going to move to another ship eventually. BBM is competing to attract these passengers onto its ship. The best way to do this is build a bridge, invite them to move, and let them go back to that pesky SMS ship whenever they like, for as long as they like.

SMS is like the ship that's very slowly sinking

Does BBM really stand a chance?  I think so. Look at this survey from iMore. The question asked was "Which messaging systems do you use?" Multiple answers are permitted. The biggest winner in the survey is iMessage (29%), obviously, since iMore is an Apple-oriented site. And remember iMessage is also SMS. In second place with 17.6% is SMS. Then we have a tight cluster of Facebook Messenger, BBM, WhatsApp, where between 9.8% and 12.4% of voters use these apps. Every other app on the list got votes from no more than 5% of those surveyed. Obviously if the demographics were different we'd probably get more people voting for Line or WeChat, but in this mostly Western audience it's clear that BBM is very much in the fight.

Bottom line - there are going to be billions of smartphone users around the world, and right now the penetration of mobile instant messaging is quite small among all players combined. It will naturally grow. It will naturally kill off SMS. It will take a long time for this to happen, and BBM is certainly in this fight.

Topics: BBM Editorial Apps

Reader comments

What is BBM really competing against?


Absolutely. I still think it was a mistake not being available for IPod's and WiFi only devices. Understand the always on thinking but I think there is a huge potential in this area. I have a number of devices at home that I would have downloaded it including the kids IPods (not all kids have phones) and Android tablets that I would have used it on.

I got 11+ of my non-blackberry friends to install bbm. Their main complain; when chatting with a group, they can't send videos, pictures or voice msgs to everybody in that group as they can with whatsapp.

2nd that! It sure does!!!

Since Apple users have iMessage their so far satisfied with it or texting. Seems like a good number of Android friends easily accepted BBM and are liking it so far minus some bugs reported by one.

As Chris stated BlackBerry needs to constantly stay on top by releasing the other features needed like voice and video, fix any bugs and release BBM Channels to really stand out from the rest. And they can't get compleciant now or down the road if they want to be the top mobile messaging app!!!

Good article Chris

Who will rule the hill?
There are a few reasons, some are not user dependent, rather, maker dependent.

#1) The companies that have the most hardware on a particular OS platform will, at minimum, get those users to use their messaging product.
This means, the platform must include cell phones, PC and Tablets.

#2) If the users have persons to communicate with who have different OS platforms, then, the messaging product must be available on all those platforms.
In current world those OS by: MS, Apple, Google, and Blackberry.

In the long run (today, meaning within the next five years), BBM must be available for all those OS (#2) and devices (#1) that run them.

In the short run, like all tech products, one product looks like the next. Everything becomes a 'commodity' when makers include important functions similar to the other makers products. (For example: there is not much difference between TV's today except the package).

Hangs with SMS support will be out any day now. That's a kill shot for BBM on Android. Hangouts works great on Android and doesn't have the weird bugs the iMessage has on iOS where messages don't always work. Hangouts also will have more features and is a much better looking app.

I have to agree with you. Hangouts going SMS is a very big deal. My entire office went Hangouts this past Monday. Everyone loves it. I'm in an office of iPhone from 4 to 5S and Androids from Xperia to HTC One to Samsung and with Google Docs we also share documents across our phones. BB needs to move faster.

Before on my Bold 9000 I could bring my sms contacts into my BBM so that was great. Now BB10 they run separately. Perhaps that function will return.

Trolls should be forced to use BB10!

I remember that

Android and iPhone fan better thank BlackBerry for making their phone better. I prefer subscribers, not followers.

Ummm yeah I don't think so. For all we know, blackberry will never update the app with better functionality. Then we'll be "thanking" them for wasting everyone's time.

That was the first thing I looked for in BBM for Android as I used it on my 9360. They need automatically have that added to BBM to keep everything in one location and for ease of use.

Isn't that what the Hub is doing? I don't see how having text messages inside of the BBM app is better than the single view of the Hub.

Posted via CB10

This was one of my first and very few grips I had with BB10. With all my other BlackBerry's and older BBOS, I had moved all my text message only contacts into BBM so that BBM would handle the messaging and it worked beautifully.

This something I'd like to see BlackBerry being back. Not very many people knew about the functionality but it was great.

From my Z10 to YOU, BOO-YAH!

People we who have BB10 have the hub, which you can customize the way you prefer, so if what you want is all your messages in one place, then you can do that with the hub, you can have all in one place, not only SMS, but BBM, Skype, whatsapp, Facebook, pretty much every IM and texting all in one place, but I agree that BBM for cross platform should implement the SMS link stuff.

Posted via CB10

yes but this is not what the contributor is talking about.
before BB10, in BBM you could add your phone contacts as BBM contacts, and be able to chat with them within BBM.
It is not the same as using SMS in the hub.

And this integration of SMS messages within BBM is what this blog article is about. Not having a Hub that is easy to use.

I used that functionality and it was great. BBM brought all these things first, I would like them to keep innovating. By the way, it there isn't any patent that BB have for these technology?

Pretty much. If BBM is competing against anyone it's itself. One update in 10 days and no new features for the foreseeable future. They gotta keep it fresh to stay on top!

As more and more people seek out ways to communicate with others outside of there country I think that will continue to push SMS out.

Posted via CB10

I feel like BBM will be the go to messenger app once it's fully integrated into all mobile platforms, ie video chat, screen share etc.

Over here in Malaysia, there is almost no such thing as free/unlimited SMS. The cheapest you could get is probably a package of bulk SMS quota at certain price point.

However there is such thing as unlimited instant messaging service, which is free data access when you use Whatsapp/WeChat/KakaoTalk/etc... have yet to see one for the new BBM though.

Posted via CB10

That's interesting, and that free instant messaging packet would need to be coupled with an actual Internet package to be able to browse the Web on cellular?

Posted via CB10

Not really. The way it works is that certain IP's of these IM services will be included on this unlimited package. The rest of the internet will be having regular internet rates.

the most challenge I get is people open and show me the whatsapp installed on their andriod or windows or iphones. they have a huge list of people already there and do not want to budge, neither go to the length of convicing their contacts to change.
i literraly have to open , show then D/R, send dummy messages and send them an invite... but it is not that easy push selling BBM all around :(

come to think of it, it feels like going to a doctor and selling a medicine of an already existing, established product line of other competitors for known ailments :P

I agree. Plus WhatsApp is much more user friendly when setting up and adding contacts. A lot of my friends don't want to deal with it when easier alternatives are already established. The vast majority could care less about "security". That's why Facebook is so popular...

Yes, the method for adding contacts needs to be simpler. Like, BBM needs to be able to detect when a known contact has BBM installed on their side. Then you could search your contacts list and invite those with BBM. This should be easy to implement, no? I mean the BlackBerry servers know who downloaded their app.


This is one of the most sensible and objective things said on this thread.

What we fail to realize is that there are still millions of non data cellular devices still in use in remote parts of the world. These units will continue to use SMS. Contrary to the sentiment here, it is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Addict for 10 years, but it may be time to get off this drug.

You'd be surprised at how many people IN THE US are still on feature phones. Hell, I met a friend for lunch earlier this week, who is in a $120k/year IT position in San Francisco. His issued work phone is a Moto flip phone! There are plenty of people who are way behind the times, and you will need SMS to msg them for quite a while still.

Agree, half the people I text are still using a "feature" phones. And I know a few that had a smartphone that have gone back to feature phones to cut cost, and they both have good jobs. But when it cost well over a hundreds dollars a month for two people to have a smartphone with a data plan... for some it is a "luxury" that they don't really want.

In this whole BBM launch I've talked to about 30 people with smartphones.... There was only one that used Whatsapp with friends from school, about eight used iMessage but didn't even know they were using an IM Service it's so seamless. The rest were strictly plain on SMS text.

very true people simply rely on SMS and in a strange way a large share of people using smartphones don't necessarily 'use' or benefit from any of the smart apps/features installed mainly because data bundles were pricey and only BIS was the most affordable hence the BB adoption in my country..but lately carriers are bringing in unlimited access to social media(Facebook, twitter and whatsapp) at a reasonable fee but still SMS reigns supreme here..

My primary use for an IM application is to communicate with my family. But even though they have iOS devices, the very rarely turn on 3G/4G data, relying on wifi. So for now, SMS is our chat app of choice.

I have a hard time convincing people to move to BBM. Most are on WhatsApp and are perfectly fine with the way it works. Almost no one uses SMS anymore, apart from some friends that haven't jumped aboard the smartphone wagon yet.

BBM needs to roll out video asap, as that will be the most distinguishing feature. At the same time they need to be quick to integrate BBM on PCs and tablets.

At the moment I have stopped my attempts to get people over. I want them to be impressed with BBM, not just "ok".

Keep having the same conversation with iPhone users. "Why do i need BBM ?" it's hard to explain the reasons to them. I usually tell them to down load it, and see for themselves. The next thing you know I get a pin request. Lol

Posted Via CB10 -Jack!!

Remember. BBM combined SMS and chat years ago as early as OS 5 if I recall correctly. You could add any contact to BBM as a SMS contact. Pulling it all into the app. iMessages "borrowed" that.

Posted via CB10

"It only stands to reason that BBM should be upgraded (and fast) to include SMS support."

Exactly my thinking. I have mentioned this in the CB forums in the past.

I like BBMs current implimentation, I don't think they should integrate SMS.

SMS will always have one advantage over closed systems like BBM or Whatsapp. It's basically an open protocol like email so I can send an SMS message to anyone from any number and I don't need to worry about invite approval or whether or not they have the app.

So I think SMS in its current form will always have a useful place even if people use BBM/Whatsapp etc as their main messaging solution.

I think once BBM Channels go live, then BBM will definitely have a second wave of subscribers!


Well in jamaica you still have to pay to text. They do have specials like pay for 5 get the next 100 free but people would still rather use bnm or what's app.

Posted via CB10

SMS is the in reason most of my friends don't want to convert. The response is simply "why do I need it when I have SMS". It's quite annoying since my BBM list only grew to 6 users within the first two days after launch and since then I wasn't able to get anyone else to convert.

Posted via CB10

No, but they don't care. Even I don't have unlimited texting but they don't care about that either. It's pretty sad. BBM is so much better than SMS or anything else out there. I'm regularly using its chat, voice, and video features.

Posted via CB10

Here is how you sell it. For about 5 hours after the DC earthquake hit a few years ago, SMS and phone calls didn't work at all, BBM worked the entire time. The reason: SMS relies on the voice side of the cell networks control channels and this and the voice service are always oversubscribed because you never design a voice or data network for non-business use to handle the possibility of everyone using it at the same time. However in an emergency or catastrophic event everyone does try to use the network and you get calls and texts that won't go through. BBM is efficient and runs on the data network.

How well does BBM work in a disaster when there is a limited number of towers, etc.? I seem to remember an earthquake and/or tsunami a few years back in a lesser developed country where phone calls weren't getting through, but SMS was due to less need for a strong tower connection. Is BBM similar to SMS in that regard?

Posted via CB10

while this is a great example of the strength of the app and its underlying infra, not sure whether i can tell people to get one for a catastrophy, does this work as a sales pitch to a normal guy?

BBM is by far the best message app, but I find a lot of people just don't want to admit too it , but if you have the full bbm next to whatsapp it's clear too see bbm is years ahead and I mean years!

Posted via z30

People seems to forget about SMS 2.0!!! Which was suppose to be BBM combined into all phones and that would of killed everything else including iMessage! But oh wait... some douche killed the project... Was it Mr. Ketchup man perhaps? (aka Thorstein Heinz)

Smh! We wouldnt be having this conversation today!

You don't need to integrate sms into bbm - these other platform need to integrate bbm into their messaging apps like BlackBerry has integrated bbm and whatsapp into the Hub.

Posted from my Q10 on the West Coast

Well put. I have so many friends who have asked the difference between SMS and a messaging app such as BBM.

As I recall, on classic BlackBerrys you could send SMS from within the BBM app. You just choose the contact and it would send with whatever means it had.

My son got a surprise phone bill from Verizon when he first got an iPhone. He was doing a lot of IM and assumed it was all going iM but many of them went SMS. He had limited TXTs at that time and went way over his limit. The Verizon CSR said this was an Apple bug and they removed the charges.

If this is true, then BBM needs to actually go full on cross platform (not just iPhones and androids). The little guys might not count for much, but BlackBerry needs to get them on board early in the game, before the big dogs come knocking. Once channels go mainstream, look out.

Sent from the future on my Z10.

I've had push back from some ios and Android users because their plans include unlimited text but BBM uses data

Posted via CB10 with my Z10 Oreo

When BBM launched BBM video/voice and if they integrate this SMS feature, there will only be Skype, Viber and maybe Hangouts (if they integrate Goggle Voice into the product) as competion. A lot of people don't have unlimited text worldwide.

on BBOS we were able to add non BBM contacts to BBM and it would send as SMS, isn't that exactly what imessage tried to replicate?

Whatever finally replaces SMS will be an open protocol that anyone can implement, just like email is. All these proprietary systems are dead ends.

The telecoms are pushing for Joyn, which even blackberry may support. It combines VoLTE, IM with phonebook presence information, video calls and so on. An attempt by telcos to preserve their control and revenue streams, which they are losing to BBM, skype and so on.

Bbm needs to go on tablets, windows phone, mac and pc and even on new emerging os

Posted via CB10

SMS will never ever die! Maybe it will be used less but it's a very simple service that works great! Every 20USD dump phone can handle text messages!

The big thing is to get providers on board! And that's why SMS will never die and JOYN is the app to beat!

Posted via CB10

Some of my friends and family only have SMS and no data plan. They just use Wi-Fi when at home or work. Having BBM use SMS for those people when data wasn't available would be great. Obviously that would impact security but maybe the developers could change the colour when the message was insecure.

Posted via CB10

iMessage and Voice Plus already do that. If the app cannot reach the other guy over the internet, it automatically falls back to SMS, assuming the other guy's phone number is programmed into the same contact as the one used for the app.

SMS requires a phone number and goes through the phone network end to end. It is part of the control channel protocol (and associated control channels on voice/data channels). These are actually free bytes because these bytes are delivered to every person's phone listening on the control channel for a call. This is ancient technology with byte length limitations. I think BBM should stay away from this and concentrate on what they are doing. They should maintain high performance and real time performance. This will make the difference. They really need to make Voice Call as PTT as possible worldwide (no stupid phone numbers and all that stupid ring back dial tone nonsense). This will truly enable worldwide communications.

Posted via CB10

I would to like to see bbm channels released to all platforms. Very interesting to see what happens in the near future. I've read your other posts Chris and I agree with you. Huge market to capture and make money.

Posted via CB10


Windows Phone
Firefox OS
Windows 7/8

Get them all!!!

500 user should be the goal!!!

Posted via CB10

As illustrated by this article there are a lot of clueless people. I've heard "why do I need BBM nobody I know uses a BlackBerry?" It's cross platform....

CB10 - Z10 -

SMS is so restrictive and limiting I find. People who use it have simple communication needs, it works for them, or it is the best alternative. I can't see it disappearing ever as younger people ( teens, preteens, etc.) start off messaging and communicating this way.

Posted via CB10

I don't think that "simple communications needs" is the proper way to put it. For basic peer-to-peer messaging, SMS or whatever came with the phone is sufficient, sure. However, practically every one I know uses Facebook to broadcast messages or for group chats. A few even use Hangouts, but nobody that I know in real life uses WhatsApp, BBM (even if they do have a Blackberry), et al. What is the point of committing with an app, that functions like an app instead of an integrated experience, when most people have found suitable solutions they have been using for years?

Posted via CB10

Did they really need to limit it to phones and tablets with cellular capabilities, though? And the answer within a few days of third party tinkering is "No."

Easily enough installed on an iPad 2 wiFi only using only Apple's own tools (iPhone Configuration Tool). Others have already tinkered with it and got it running on Android Gingerbread variants.

But not everyone has the technical know-how -- and will pass for an alternative that is available on their device, however outdated and in need of replacement it might be.

Maybe you can get away with ignoring Gingerbread variants (let's not even talk about the PlayBook), but do you really want to cut out the iPad wifi models (or iPod touch, for that matter), already in the hands of millions?

Maybe we'll be surprised, and the official releases will eventually come to the "lesser" devices.

I didn't really get what this article was about....
But the simple thing to deduce is that BBM is fighting against everyone....and BlackBerry has chosen to target WhatsApp in their fight.
Also based on Demographics, Line and WeChat are also hugely popular and have a very loyal fanbase due to its features such as shake etc.

Its a tough road for BBM and only way they can conquer is by getting more features quickly and stay reliable.... #BBM4ALL

Posted via the awesome keyboard on Z10STL100-1/ using CB10 App

Well said Chris. I'm doing my part. I've loaded BBM on 10 + droid, ios phones. People said similar things. Yet I believe they all still have the app and are using it. More then half admit to loving it.. #KeepMoving

Posted via CB10

The people that downloaded BBM most likely the majority were ex blackberry owners. The one feature that all enjoyed was BBM because of its capabilities. Is this a major break through I don't think so because if it was for sale for 99 cents it may have sold 50 units....maybe!

Posted via CB10

technically Google Voice (and apps that used it, like Groove IP and Talkatone) had SMS/IM capability before it was integrated into Hangouts.. Hangouts is a bloated pig of an app (as is Skype) and hopefully BBM won't be like that. I haven't come across anyone that actually likes Hangouts.. Google has a habit of messing with things that worked perfectly fine before, and adding needless complexity to it. It happened with Gmail, it happened with Google Talk, and whoever thought up Google+ should be fired. I hope Google continues to mess up their stuff, so BBM can move in and do things right. :) (but I love Google Voice, at least they got that right, lol.. probably because they bought the company behind the tech that makes it work)

They need a sub program in bbm that if you agree will automatically sort out your what's app contacts and text them a link for bbm, also you should be able to search a username in bbm, in order to see if a friend is on bbm network or not.

BlackBerry for leaders, not followers.

No option to share videos in group, that needs to be rectified.

Posted via my sexy white Z10 STL100-2/

SMS is not free in my country, and most of the people use prepaid monthly internet data for cheap android devices or BIS in BB legacy devices, so here that is not the real competitor

To compete with SMS, BBM needs to be come truly cross platform that is to include old versions of Android, Windows phone and the Nokia S40, S60 and Asha range of phones which are already covered by Whatsapp.

Good article, Chris.

I don't know that BBM can replace SMS, but integration sure seems important to implement.

Posted via CB10

The biggest thing, for me, that's missing from BBM right now is the ability to send files larger than 6MBs. I'm a huge BBM fan and am actively trying to get everyone I know onto it, but I admit it's a feature of WhatsApp I miss.

Posted via CB10

BBM needs to add imporant features fast. The launch was good, but now they need to catch up feature-wise. Preferably tomorrow, not later. Channels, voice- and video-calling!

BBM needs to become an all-in-one app.. combine the best of the IM, picture taking/sharing, music, movies, video chat apps, etc. and find a way to work in the BB10 gestures/flow and hub (and keyboard). But take everything one step further than existing apps, too. Having everything integrated into one app makes it stronger. And of course, make it all secure. Then people don't have to buy Blackberry hardware.. they'll have the essence of Blackberry in one app, on all platforms.

Fully support BBM and BlackBerry, but it seems a bit early to call the 20 million new BBM accounts as "active monthly users".

Posted via CB10

For me, the issue is that users without unified inboxes do not want another message app next to viber facebook whatsapp etc

Posted via CB10

SMS still incurs long distance or roaming costs when two different countries are involved. No need to add SMS to BBM. SMS is already easily available. Drive BBM engagement with Channels and such.

Posted via CB10

Lol I don't sell it.... I tell em if they wanna reach me get BBM... ive deleted all other messenger from my phone ;)

Posted via CB10

Man, Jim B. was Way off with SMS2 wasn't he...................

If there was ever an "I told you so", this is it.

Interesting article. Sounds like a page from Jim's plan to bring SMS 2.0 (BBM) to the carrier networks worldwide.

I say bring him back and let's implement his idea.

"My toast is better than yours!"

I tried to get my brother and friends on BBM but they all said the same thing: Why get BBM when text works just fine? That was a bummer.

Posted via CB10

Sms is not a sinking ship. It is a reliable method of sending out a message. Let's see how you send messages when the BBM service or your carriers network is down. Most of the time Sms can send through just Edge or 2G network, let's see how these app based IM services do that

Posted via CB10

SMS relies on cellular signalling channel on carrier network whereas IM's work over cellular data and WiFi. SMS is a legacy technology with little technological advancement.

Why doesn't BlackBerry make BBM the main messaging feature if the person you are messaging has BBM as well and if they don't just default to text messaging just like iMessage?

Posted via CB10

BBM is proving to be a popular link amongst the three platforms and the upside is, it keeps BlackBerry on iOS and Android users radar when it comes time for an upgrade. BlackBerry might want to target Windows Phone next.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

SMS is also dependant on cellular network whereas BBM (and other IM's) will run over WiFi or Cellular. If the cellular network signalling channel is jammed (disaster, etc) there is a high probability that SMS messages will fail. So in terms of reliability there is a clear differentiator.

."..In the long run it seems obvious that a true cross-platform IM app will beat out SMS. And nothing would please me more than to see BBM become that app."

And NO, all these proprietary services might have some nice-to-haves but in the end they force us (= the customers) in the stone-age of IT where an AOL customer could only send emails to others AOL customers...

XMPP is a very good interoperable solution. A pitty that all the "experts" here or at Apple or Google are nothing else than "football fans" of an IT company.

another point coming up is the fact that it is not available for all android versions. there is a big mass with the older ones and possible backward compatibility might help in volumes

I hope text messaging doesn't die because I like to use it as a single message tool. I send a text when I am conveying a standalone message and do not want a response. I use Bbm for conversations.

I agree it will be used less, but I don't to use emails or qualify my bbms.

Maybe blackberry will add a sort of text alternative in Bbm. Like a broadcast message or announcement and package it in a way so that the recipient knows it's not the start of a conversation.

Posted via Z10 on CB10

Also perhaps BlackBerry should try to get Bbm a Pre installed app in android, apple like Facebook and youtube.

But then again if it were that simple I guess everyone would have already done it with there apps!!

Pointless comment really

I'll go now...

Posted via Z10 on CB10

to be honest, i can't see sms dying off completely, as there are people (namely my wife and my in-laws) who would die before paying extra for data. thus, they rely solely on texting because they have no other option.

if in the future data simply just was included with every phone plan, then i could see that happening. but before then, not so much.

either case, data is an extra option on their plans that they aren't paying for, so im apps such as bbm and what's app aren't an option for those who don't want to pay EXTRA.

agree .... of course on my Torch BBM was how I sent and recieved text messages as well ... one of those things they didn't carry over into BB10 ... not so smart BB

Let me know if i'm wrong here.
Isn't SMS & MMS network driven?
So your paying for text messaging ( don't say your getting free , because you are paying on your month contract which they include).
Everyone still not getting the full advantage about BBM, doesn't use your phone number. I would never give out my phone number to people so they can text me.

BBM already does integrate SMS and BBM messages on the BBOS platform. true it only does it for the contacts that are on your BBM list but the feature is still there. They just need to open it up a bit more and apply it to BB10 devices as well

Text message draw back same as twitter in character limitations. Thatsbhowbtwitter set bit at the same value. BBM no real limitations within normal use age. Don't care about any other service as they are all garbage when compared to what bbm is on BlackBerry 10. Simple done end of discussion. Start terrorising the mongers who don't switch to bbm. #HackThePlanet

Only a fool thinks they know me.

If you grab a sim card and pop it into Apple, Android, Webos, Palm or BB and without downloading, your texting in seconds or sending MMS. If you set your phone up correctly you can receive delivery confirmations.

So the only way that sms will ever truly go away is if you have to down load it as an app and if there is a truly unified IM program for all platforms, languages and it must be preinstalled on every device sold.

In my country, BBM never was huge, also at the time when BlackBerry ruled the smartphone market.

I tried my best to convince my friends to download and use it, but WhatsApp and Viber serve the market here. People don't see the benefit of having a PIN and find it too hard to invite each other.

When I highlight the security benefit and that the address book gets not copied and stored at the provider (I hope I'm right) , they all told me: So what, my data is already out there.

Therefore, I don't think BBM competes versus SMS. It competes against IM.

Posted via CB10

Actually, Whatsapp and Viber don't store your address book in the cloud. They use phone numbers as usernames and only store the phone numbers on their servers. When you install the app and register the number, the app polls your contact list for any matches with the phone numbers it stored in the cloud, and that's how the app "copies" your address book.

Try installing Whatsapp on a phone WITHOUT any contacts being present on that phone. The app will not be able to build a contact list because it's polling an empty address book.

Basically, there's no security flaw, other than the fact that your phone number is being recorded by a third party. Now, BBM arguably has an advantage there since it uses a PIN, so no third party knows your actual number. But your friends don't see that as an advantage - they see it as a hindrance since it prevents BBM from auto generating a contacts list.

I think that with BBM Channels, BBM will have more to offer. But it has to make its way to Android and iOS quickly. Also BBM needs to have file, picture and location sharing in Groups. We don't even have that on BlackBerry 10. That's completely unacceptable. If WhatsApp has it BBM should definitely have it. Finally, I went from 2 contacts on BBM to having 9 mostly women, I find men more reluctant. My seven closest friends are all on WhatsApp and it like pulling teeth to get them to even try BBM. I got two of them to try, but we have a group on WhatsApp, unless All of us make the switch, non of them will.

Posted via CB10

I just don't get why my pings deliver to some of my contacts, but they can't ping me back! It really pissing me off! It's on my z10 less I forget, pls can someone help??

Posted via CB10

I say, BBM is much better than any other messaging apps because, you'll see if your messages has been delivered or not. And most important is, is it has been read or not? You can see in BBM if it is delivered and read. That's I like most!!! BBM is the best!

Posted via CB10

Put BBM on Windows Mo/Nokia & Blackberry phones, joking with last & the text i.d. will be really cool though it isnt needed. However it they do decide to do the text/im service, it will be AMAZING if they can incorporate the pin into all of that.

I love blackberry and bbm. In the past few days there has been a huge emphasis on bbm launch and millions of downloads in a week and how it is number one on the charts. I welcome all this but i think bbm still has a long way to go and add key features missing.
My wife on iPhone download bbm and just asked to bbm here pics we took yesterday on my phone. I just found out i can't send multiple pics on bbm and had to whatsapp them. Video files are limited and time out if not download in certain time where as on whatsapp it downloads itself or can be retrieved with out any time limit.
Security and all is very good but average person doesn't know or care much about it. Bbm needs to be above par with competition and get these features implemented soon.

Posted via CB10

great read and very true. BBM needs to combine both sms and their app as well as roll out channels, video and voice asap! also take into consideration the constructive criticism they are getting from active users.

BBM is what's sms should have been! BlackBerry always had the headsup on this!? Why bother with sms when u can exclusively chat with someone, include them in a group and others as well and other functions non existent in a basic sms service, and auto message confirmation. Love the idea you add the individuals only you message and not accessible to weveryone gives BBM much higher ranking in privacy as well. BBM also prevents thos stupid accidental texts that we all sometimes randomly get as well.

Posted via CB10 Q10 SQN-3 w/official

Has anyone had problems inviting people from within BBM on a Z10 like me? The email ends up looking like this to even other OS10 or OS7 users:

I'd like to invite you to chat over BlackBerry Messenger. Get the BBM app for Android and iPhone from BBM.com on your mobile device.
If you don't currently have the required application on your device, please visit www.BlackBerry.com/messenger to learn more about this service. Once you've installed BlackBerry Messenger, contact the original inviter and request another invitation.

Posted via CB10 1.4.2 on Z10 on the Rogers Network

This was even before BBM released for the other platforms. I've added the line about getting Android and IPhone from BBM.com to the body of the invites just recently.

Posted via CB10 1.4.2 on Z10 on the Rogers Network

GSM organization is looking to develop a cross platform applications more applicable for smartphones which should resolve the need for such applications

Posted via CB10

1st popular chat app in Thailand is Line by Naver Japan because it has Sticker!! Hope this come to BB10 soon.

I love BBM, but I don't think SMS will die. It will evolve. SMS is fully functional out of the box-No login ID or password required. Just a telephone number. I can see carriers working together to integrate real-time SMS updates with video chat etc over carrier settings that is universally accepted as long as it's a mobile phone number regardless of phone manufacturer or platform.

IM apps would be more likely to fade if this were the case. People want simplicity. That's why they check the box to remember email passwords so they never have to use it again (even if it's to thier detriment down the line...won't remember.) How will they remember thier BBM password, ID, PIN etc. No way to backup contact list through BBM. No one wants to start over. Less is more.

Posted via CB10

I pushed everybody around to download BBM but many of them want video chat. Not too many active users actually. Gotta work it out ASAP, BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

So far BBM has made tremendous impact, only 1 percent of my people use imessage or whatever, everybody was Whatsapp and 2go for the younger ones but now BBM has taken over, if you not on BBM in my country, you not existing, am so glad that communication isolation has been defeated as everybody is in touch...Thanks to BBM...cross Platform

Posted via CB10

Here is what is happening, the low price android device already has a pre installed bbm app with the price at just USD 45.
Like i said many times before this is the death of the blackberry phones. Even the legacy devices, can't compete with that..
Also gone with that is the service income, because now everybody can use bbm without having to subscribe to blackberry service.
This will hit blackberry hard in the next year. If they and you think that this can not go any worse, it can..

Posted via CB10

I said many times before also that blackberry has to get the grip in the market for blackberry 10 devices before they make bbm cross platform..
Bad decision after bad decisions is what killing the company. The shareholders need to get together and clear out the management.. if not in two-three years from now, blackberry will lose much of its worth..

Posted via CB10

You are not paying for SMS messages in the States are you? Here in South Africa, Whatsapp is the de facto Standard for text messaging if you don't have a Blackberry, as it is a lot cheaper than sending an SMS. I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and just use BBM for Android to contact friends that have Blackberries, everyone else uses Whatsapp. People only use standard SMS if their phone cannot use WhatsApp...

Push BBM only packages in the US and everywhere. Make them only available with a BlackBerry device. Watch BlackBerry climb back to the top.

I think there are quite a few parents who would love to get their kids off the unlimited Internet.

Posted via CB10

All my iphone/Android user friends who downloaded BBM have stopped using it. Most cite the following reasons:

1. (main reason) They already use another cross-platform app and don't want one that has less features than what they're currently using. (they find the BBM experience lacking)

2. They don't have a lot of friends on BBM, so no need.

3. For some, the activation STILL isn't working and they're not going to try to figure it out when they have working ones.

4. There is a delay on iOS users' end when sending and receiving msgs.

5. Msgs I've sent to iOS users, unless they are in the app, never deliver to the system or device (e.g., check mark only,No S/D/R). This is days on end, not just slightly delayed.

Unfortunately, I told the majority of my non-bb friends about it, and based on the experience, I think they'll be very reluctant to use it again, unless xBBM really ups their platform and they hear from OTHER non-bb users how great it is.

Posted via CB10 from my Q10 or Z10

Dang, this sounds a lot like Whatsapp's initial performance on Windows Phone. For nearly 2 years, Whatsapp was horribly unreliable - you had to constantly open the app and check to ensure that messages would actually reach the device. In other words, it was commonplace for messages to be stuck in the cloud for days, even weeks, if sent to a WP.

You might want to check the situation in some "Blackberry Nation" country. BBM is still extremely popular that even the "mighty" Samsung use "BBM compatible" tag line in their Galaxy ads. In fact, almost all Android phones ads have "BBM compatible logo". I'm not sure about the device tough since a lot of people actually buy BB just to use BBM and now it is available for everybody (except WP)

"In the long run it seems obvious that a true cross-platform IM app will beat out SMS. And nothing would please me more than to see BBM become that app."

True cross-platform IM? Well that's NOT going to be BBM then. Not without inviting Windows Phone to the party.

I think one thing you fail to consider Chris is that SMS has one very distinct advantage over cross-platform BBM, Whatsapp, or any other IM service: Most carriers now offer unlimited texts for free as part of their monthly packages. I don't know about the rest of the world, but in Canada, where we get beat up by the big three (Rogers, Bell, and Telus) for data usage - none of them offer unlimited data packages for consumers, only on the corporate level - even an app as data efficient as BBM will use up precious MB's if you're not on Wifi. The bulk of people really don't care about channels, or video chat, and non-BBM users have lived without delivery or read confirmations for years, so the people blackberry is targeting are used to the status quo. Surplanting texting is a tall order for any IM service, BBM included.

Posted via CB10

That advantage is lost when you take international borders into account.

I know most Canadian plans have unlimited international texts. But the guy in the other country may not have that privilege when replying to you. Using an IM app benefits whoever would otherwise get charged for sending international texts.

SMS is at an even greater disadvantage when you travel abroad. If you roam, it costs a lot to SMS (75 cents/text when roaming stateside). If you take the smarter route and buy a prepaid SIM, you face the inconvenience of having to give a temporary number to your friends and family if you wish to SMS them. However, if you roam AND have Wi-Fi access, or if your prepaid SIM has data, then an IM app solves either problem right away.

As for these IM apps eating up data - I beg to differ. Unless you send a massive amount of photos and videos, an IM app won't use even 10 MB in a month, and that's with hundreds of texts (I speak from experience - and I do send/receive at least one photo a week).

When I first got a bb, BBM was great because I didn't have to purchase a big text package so I was saving money every month. Now I have an unlimited package because I have multiple lines on my account so that benefit isn't as strong for me. I imagine though that there are plenty of people who don't have unlimited texts so I'm platforms like BBM are attractive to them. BBM needs to continue rolling out features that answer the questions "why BBM?" and "Why not sms?".

Posted via CB10

Great article Chris. One thing I don't see pointed out is that sms costs money, over and above the cost of mobile data. This is worth noting because while we expect sms to die out, as long as emerging markets don't have the data connectivity that most of America and Europe does, there will still be plenty of users almost exclusively reliant on sms.
Secondly, one could argue in favour of WhatsApp and BBM being cross platform without sms in markets where data connectivity is ubiquitous. To some extent, to avoid going x-platform, imessage uses sms as a fallback.

Posted via CB10

"Why do I need BBM (or any data-using app) when I can already send texts?"

Fixed the question for you.

Answer: There is monetary benefit + convenience if your texts go to someone residing in another country. While unlimited SMS is part of most plans, it does not necessarily include INTERNATIONAL SMS. If your provider charges for international texts, then BBM or similar apps are the way to go.

Additionally, when traveling abroad, people either roam or buy a prepaid SIM in the foreign country. If you roam, then it's costly to send SMS back home - but if you connect to a Wi-Fi network, you can use BBM/Whatsapp/etc to message for free. If you buy a prepaid SIM, then you have to deal with the inconvenience of giving a temporary number to friends and family if you wish to SMS them - but if your prepaid SIM has data and/or you have Wi-Fi access, you can just BBM/Whatsapp/etc and avoid the inconvenience.

It's funny I always feel the same way when I tell my friends about blackberry messenger ..... But the point that they can never deny is its easier to delete block someone's then it is to change your phone number

Posted via CB10

Is BBM going to eventually add video chat to all platforms as well so they can really compete against Skype and FaceTime?

Posted via CB10

When these Iphoners roam and they can't tell the difference..they get screwed. I was texting a US pal on his Iphone..He was chatting, clueless that he was texting back to the UK. Its disgusting abuse of people's trust.