What’s the value of BlackBerry’s BBM Network?

By Chris Umiastowski on 26 Jul 2013 05:11 pm EDT
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Yesterday in the CrackBerry Forums, a member asked me to comment on the possible value of BBM, presumably as a standalone asset that BlackBerry can monetize on its own.

BBM is a mobile-only app with many purposes. First and foremost it’s an IM app, and arguably the best mobile IM app on the market. But it’s now also a video chat and voice chat app. And depending on what else BlackBerry adds to the mix, it could become a social network via BBM Channels.

One very common valuation metric is price per user, or value per user. Sometimes this value comes from an acquisition like Facebook buying Instragram, or eBay (and then Microsoft) buying Skype. Other times it is based on venture capital investments such as SnapChat’s rumored $800 million valuation. Another option for valuation is to look a publicly traded company (which we’ll do next).

So let’s look at a few examples.

First up is Facebook itself. They are publicly traded, and the mega giant of social networking and they actually do sell ads to generate huge revenue. Last quarter 41% of ad revenue came from mobile, so there is no question Facebook is becoming a mobile business very fast. They have 1.15 billion monthly active users and a market value of $83 billion. So they’re currently worth about $72 per user.

Next up is Instagram. They were bought by Facebook for a reported  $1 billion. But it was a cash and stock deal, and Facebook stock declined by the time the deal closed, but let’s go with the value at the time the deal was negotiated. A billion bucks. Instagram had about 30 million users at the time, so Facebook paid $33 per user. I think it makes sense to value Instragram at a lower per-user number because it will inevitably become just a service on Facebook, and it probably didn’t bring in a lot of new users to Facebook. Most users were already using the social network.

What about the communication market? Skype was originally sold to eBay, but then eBay unloaded it to Microsoft for $8.5 billion. At the time Skype had at least 663 million registered users, but we all know registered is not the same as active. Either way, Microsoft paid about $13 per registered user. Assume half of the accounts were not really being used, so maybe $26 per actual user?

YouTube is another social media giant, and Google bought it in 2006 when the video network had about 20 million unique users per month. So the $1.65 billion valuation works out to about $83 per monthly user. YouTube was obviously just a desktop web destination at the time, but it’s another portal that is becoming massively mobile.

Waze is another social app (in the mapping market) to be acquired by Google. It had approximately 50 million users and Google paid an estimated $1 billion, putting the per-user value at $20. Again, it seems reasonable to me that most Waze users already use Google services, so Google is really buying a new service not a bunch of users. That should lower the per-user value and sure enough, Google didn’t value Waze users nearly as high as Wall Street values a Facebook user.

Let’s stop and think about this.

Each example I gave above is from the leader in a particular market. Facebook, Instagram, Skype, YouTube and Waze ... these guys are all the top dogs in their respective market. Top dog status is worth more.

Is BBM top dog? No. They lost that position to WhatsApp by being too damn slow to move cross platform. So the big question becomes ... can BBM reclaim the throne?  A lot of people think they can. I think they stand a chance. And they’re going about it the right way by making BBM free on iOS and Android. If they can get from 60 million BlackBerry users to 200 million cross-platform users then I think we’re talking about a very interesting scenario which would really crank up the value of the network.

Can BBM reclaim the throne? A lot of people think they can

Another thing that makes a network worth more is its size. Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users. This means a network with 10x more people in it is worth 100x more.

Conflicting with Metcalfe’s law we also have to consider growth potential. A young network that is top dog in an important, emerging industry (like YouTube when Google bought it) is bound to have much more growth potential than a mature leader (like Facebook today). So a buyer may be willing to pay more per user even though the network is small. The buyer is paying for future opportunity.

Where does all this leave BBM?

BlackBerry still has a decent chance to capture the #1 market position in mobile IM. They have, in my opinion, a much smaller chance of turning BBM into a valuable social network filled with content like Facebook. They have a much better chance, if they execute well, of overtaking Skype in terms of being the best overall communication platform for mobile.

BlackBerry still has a decent chance to capture the #1 market position in mobile IM

If they do this, and only if they do this, I think we could start talking about BBM having a value somewhere in the same vicinity as some of the other companies mentioned here. Let’s use $50 per user as a nice round number. So if BlackBerry can achieve 200 million users and reclaim top dog status, can we say it’s worth $10 billion (double the current market capitalization)? 

Perhaps. But BlackBerry is a public company who’s revenue comes primarily from hardware. This means that over the next year or two, at minimum, Wall Street will value the business based on its actual reported results. Ironically, if the company was a startup with no hardware business and an equal number of users, it would probably garner a higher valuation.

Food for thought?  Sound off in the comments.

Topics: BBRY BBM Editorial

Reader comments

What’s the value of BlackBerry’s BBM Network?

237 Comments

With Certicom ECC crypto encryption, the ONLY Solution for REAL Security....
BBM and Blackberry Solution Simply the Best communication platform in the World "."

Oh, really?
And how do you send a video file over 6Mo?
This limit is just ridiculous, since BB10 devices can only record HD videos (720 or 1080) and do not offer options to disable that limitation or to lower the definition. BBM for BB10 was supposed to be a comprehensive solution (text, audio, and video chat, file transfert of every kind). I don't feel like juggling with apps, nor swapping from one to another to communicate with the very same person. This is so last decade!

"I don't feel like juggling with apps, nor swapping from one to another to communicate with the very same person. This is so last decade!"

Funny you say that, because many folks LOVE doing this very thing. There's a certain etiquette to each app as well. For instance: You don't send someone something that you'd send via SMS to their Twitter, you know what I'm saying?

What BBM is trying to achieve is only hindering their position on this. It's making the app a jack of all trades, master of none.

There will be a whackload of downloads within the first week because people like new things (ie. Snapchat). BlackBerry will need to keep that momentum going which they do not have a very good track record of.

Yeah man. Whatsapp is so garbage. I know tons of BlackBerry Haters out there that still give love to BBM and admit that they miss using it. I'm stoked to get my contacts back so I'm going to push the shit out of it once it's released.

Posted via CB10

With BBM going cross-platform, there is no need to use any other IM. I can communicate with everyone, without leaving "home."

Well, if you count two more platforms as cross-platform, then sure; but the competition have clients for other OS:es such as Symbian, Nokia S40, Windows Phone 7/8, etc. Some even have desktop clients - which is way more worth than you think.

BBM for ios and android will get the same options as we have, so that's a big plus, maybe they should also develop BBM calling for the PC also ( to compete with Skype)

Posted via CB10

Yes. But read what I said. Then read media releases and CrackBerry articles and also twitter messages from BlackBerry.

It will be there. Just not on initial release. Video chat etc should come around end of this year / beginning of next.

Posted via CB10

Sounds good. This is why BB needs to execute and really make sure they market BBM effectively. I think if it becomes a top free app on each app store it will no doubt garner interest and probably be able to overtake whatsapp as it offers the same service but with better service, brand recognition, more cool features like video chat and voice chat and all of these services have great quality(some would argue better quality than skype). I guess as everything with BB, we will just have to wait and see.

Plus, all those former BBM users have been missing BBM since they left BlackBerry. I know a ton of iOS and Android users that talk about how they still miss BBM, over a year after they left BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Thanks Chris, good post. At this price I look at BlackBerry as a well funded start up. Hope they execute.

I've watched the interactions of my bbm contacts as opposed to whatsapp. BBM contacts update their status and pics WAY WAY more than those on whatsapp.

Posted via CB10

yea but a lot of that also has to do with the typical BBM user. They are BB users who value communication over games ect. Once Android & iOS users start using BBM I wonder if the average msg per user will go down.

I agree with BBPandy, I myself value communication better than games and I'm sure many other BlackBerry users will agree as well as choosing productivity over distractions. :)

BBQ10

Nothing even remotely compares to BBM. It's better then any other IM app by a long shot. BBM Rocks!

BBM for iOS and Android will be released with basic chat and group functions. Like legacy BBOS BBM. By Christmas, it will have chat, groups, video, screen share, and channels.

I am sorry but anyone that DOESN'T think BBM will be the number 1 IM app is out of their darn mind. It could(if marketed right) be the number 1 social media app.

If channels keeps going the way it is with added features, hopefully including video as well at some point, it could make BlackBerry a ridiculous amount of money

Posted via CB10

+1

I think video chat is the feature that makes bbm better than everything else out there. I'm really upset it's not launching with that feature.

Posted via CB10

I really hope that's the case but unfortunately it will likely be a slow start in developed worlds esp. US as I sense genuine brand (like racial) discrimination against anything BlackBerry.

+1 for the US discrimination comment. I've been mocked & harassed by Americans because I have a BB. Even by people I have never met B4.

Stay cool! No need to point fingers or lay blame on a particular population, but I must blame Verizon for the failure of the Z in the US. They still have most of their users on 10.0.9 (might as well be called a pre-release!). What a shame as those poor souls are suffering for an upgrade. I know my Z is fantastic. If someone doesn't like it, that's too bad. Of course I'm running 10.1 which is smooth and stable.

Only BB10 has video chat. OS5-7 only has voice chat. They don't have video chat because of no front camera.

Posted via CB10

It's coming soon :) BlackBerry won't mess it up this time. It may not have all the features of the BlackBerry version at launch as I'm sure BlackBerry will keep some unique features for its own devices, but it will have groups and channels. Not sure about voice and video for now. I hope developers on those platforms will start to incorporate it into their apps. Imagine BBM integrated apps on iOS and Android! Wow!

BBM cross platform is the future. Even though WhatsApp is the leader today, BBM has a huge name and it makes difference. Nowadays, specially in tech market, things evolve and change extremely fast. We may see bbm doubling it's users till the end of the year. May see difficulty, but is posible. Hard to think about a IM start up gaining 60 millions users in 4 months, but BBM can.

Posted via CB10

I am using BBM again now that I am back to BlackBerry, but I struggle to understand how something "free" with no ads (thank God) generates a value.

Perhaps Chris can elaborate on how this works.

Posted via CB10

I agree it has to make money eventually. Same was true of youtube, facebook and many other businesses.

First step is getting the user base.

Posted via CB10

Definitely agree it first has to get the user base assuming it gets approved in iTunes and Google Play.

I know for sure many ppl who are now on iOS and Android formerly BlackBerry users will download it. That's one thing they miss from switching.

Posted via CB10

Right, but what I was wondering Chris is what type of mechanism would you see for them to generate revenue? Fee for service? Advertising perhaps?

Thanks

Posted via CB10

my guess would be premium services. I would pay for that.
.....or maybe eventually adds for the free vs & no adds for a paid vs....but I think most likely the former (paid services)

Ever heard of BBM money? If it becomes common or even well used, and BB charge a buck for money transfer, BB will make a trainload of cash.

It's a simple formula, but very true, taking advantage of what they have is the essence of the technology and networking business today.

Posted via CB10

Channels is a start, but if they get BBM Money on place with some banks and credit card companies, it could really take off. Personally I like the fact that BBM is not a social network like Facebook, where all your personal info is being sold to 3rd parties. On Facebook, YOU are the commodity! BlackBerry will allow folks to opt in to channels.

This is my thought exactly. Is *my* BBM going to suffer from all this? Is the network going to slow down to an incredibly stupid slow speed with all the new users? Will using video/voice become a painful task? I really hope not, but we will see ...

Nice research. I have some doubts on the two basic assumptions though.

200 million users - to get here they have to triple their current user base. The question is whether they can do it and how long will it take.

$50 per user - unlike Instagram, Facebook, and Waze, the new users that they will get will also be users of other IM platforms. They would at the same time be users of Whatsapp, Skype, iMessage, etc. Therefore the value would be diluted. Another factor in the valuation is the geography and spending power of these users. A disproportionate number would be in places like South Africa, Indonesia where they would be of less interest to those who would seek to monetize BBM.

I think they can triple their user base in 3 months if they get it out in August. 100,000 people downloaded a fake BBM app from Google Play in a matter of hours. Believe me, the demand is strong for BBM on Android and iOS. BBM is big and many who have left the BlackBerry platform have done so reluctantly because of BBM. What BlackBerry must do is get this out in a couple of weeks. The longer they wait, the harder it gets as others build up their subscriber bases - it's a matter of perception. Even so, those other platforms like WhatsApp are weaker in implementation, so there is no reason to believe that BBM cannot reclaim many of those users.

Putting BBM cross platform will do more than increase the number of users, it will also increase use by the existing users,especially in the US. I've got 1 contact I still talk to, but bbm channels (beta)was enough to earn a spot back on my main app screen. Having more contacts will make me really love BBM again.

Posted via CB10

It's weird how something like instagram is worth that amount of money... but it's 'just' software, while BBRY has .. BES, QNX, TAT?, BBM, Hardware, a huge amount of pattens and a lot of real estate but get's traded for less then 9 bucks a share atm. Crazy!

About BBM:
The next step after going cross-platform would be to build BBM features into BB Link, to have a BBM desktop client. Now after they get 200 million users... it would be free to use if you have an active BB device linked to your BB Link. And payed subscription for non BB owners... This would blow Skype for desktop out of the water for the greater part and lets BBM users connect even more.

Let's say you are working on finalizing a presentation... and want to continue typing on your laptop, you could call a co-worker, who's on the road to a meeting, on his cellphone with BBM in Link... and make last minute changes to a presentation and or designs... Next stop you actually close the call and send the PPT and other files through bbm to your co-worker... he hooks, preferable... his BB10 device up to a big screen... and GO!

Or you are offshore on an oil rig and need to make urgent unforeseen repairs, but you don't have the manual or exact skills.... so you bmm call your colleague and he talks you through it while he is sharing his laptop screen where he points out things from a manual how to go about your repairs!

BB keeps you moving! BOOM!

"BlackBerry still has a decent chance to capture the #1 market position in mobile IM."
Why do you think that?
Probably people want to read more than empty assertions.

Maybe because a lot of the people now on iOS and Android used to be on BlackBerry. Look at that fake BBM app that was released in Google Play - it was downloaded over 100,000 times pretty much immediately. Have you ever heard anyone say how much they LOVE WhatsApp? Me neither. People use it because it's cross-platform and gets the job done, but I think they don't have any attachment or loyalty to it whatsoever. Add in the fact that BBM isn't tied to your phone number and address book and I think they've got a great chance.

With 60MM users, BBRY needs to push out BBM invite post to all to have non bbry users join BBM. Just 5-10 friends each and BBM user base will explode

So true. We all have friends and contacts on iOS and Android. Encourage them to download and use bbm.......we'll have 200 million bbm users in no time. I'm aiming for 50 friends and family.......minimal.

Now people buy blackberry fone because they have BBM..after BBM have for android fone app,people for sure buy any android fone brand in market and leave the BlackBerry fone..im sure that it will be happen..my advice

Posted via CB10

There are still over 10 million BB users in Indonesia because of BBM. BB10 phones are out of reach for them so the logical upgrade choices for them once BBM goes cross platform is the cheap Android phones. I don't think the new BBOS 7 phone is going to keep them unless BBM remains exclusive on BB over there.

I think people are overreacting to the price of the Q5. The Q5 is every bit as decent as the Q10 but with a slightly slower processor. It is a fantastic device for the money when you consider the blazing fast BB10 OS, 2 GB RAM, 720x720 328 ppi display. It's not a cheap or slow device by any means as you are getting premium components. Personally, I think the 9720 is a waste because there are plenty of current BB7 devices they could be selling off prepaid for $99 or less. The real question is whether the Q5 is worth the initial prepaid price. I think so, and within 2 or 3 months, the price will drop further. The fact that it comes in about 6 fabulous colours will be great for the teen market too. Hope it launches here soon.

I've said this before and I will say it again, if you're spending $500-$700 on a new phone just for BBM when you had it on your old phone, you're either freaking stupid or a liar.

As for choosing a cheap Android device, that's an option, but those devices are usually running older versions of Android, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's limited to Devices running Android 4.

I anticipate the price of the Q5 dropping before BBM goes cross platform, and if it doesn't, it will before BBM gains all of the features it has in BB10.

JB

Posted from my brain to your screen via CBQ10

Thanks for the article Chris. Even better that you took it on from a forum request. Very cool.

The $ per user has such a range of factors to consider. Even though it isn't currently the 'top dog' in global IM it's current users are much more active than some of the above examples. Skype in particular. This may place it as a $25 per user currently with obvious increases as it goes cross platform assuming the level of engagement remains the same for Android and iOS users.

I think that one of the benefits of the bbm on BB10 is that they are obviously building it with monetization in mind, while most of the other platforms were created because they were cool and useful and then were later adapted to derive some revenues from them. The ideas and focus group questions that I hear coming out of bbm channels development definitely suggest this.

Thanks again. Delicious food for thought.

Loving the article Chris. I think that BBM has so much potential with it going cross platform we have BBM voice BBM video and the hidden gem BBM Channels I think they are setting this all up to become a full fledged Social Network

Posted via CB10

I see great potential in going cross platform. However I can also see great disaster in the same.

We could argue the pros and cons until we are blue in the face, but BBM is going cross platform so we all need to accept it.

My concerns now are 1) how is BlackBerry going to keep users buying their hardware? (perhaps they could release a phone with killer specs to get into the spec war) 2) how are they going to monetize BBM. Last thing everyone wants is another product filled with ads. (think youtube of today) 3) will is be mostly bug free? If its not others (particularly the iOS group) will tear it apart and the one shot to make a good first impression will be gone.

Just my $0.02

Posted via CB10

An extremely well written article, BBM is the gold standard and BBM Channels gives it the added features to go commerical/social all in one source. I really like where this is going and they can't launch the cross platform soon enough for me. Thanks

I think it will succeed. With all the delays BlackBerry always has i hope this is where they make sure the app is stellar. I mean even companies would use this so use would increase automatically.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry will probably launch BBM cross platform and after a nice jump in users split BBM away from the company...good bye shorts

Posted via CB10

When BBM cross platform is released I hope BlackBerry finds a way for us users to invite friends to join BBM again
.... sending an invite request via text is all it would take. But it would need to support iOS or android without the sender knowing what the other person has. For example I'm not going to ask every friend and family member what OS they have. But if there is a way to send out a generic invite that's auto knows what os they are using then I'd send an invite to everyone I know.

Yep. Or they could go the route those apps that integrate with other social media sites do. You sign in with your credentials from the site, then give the app permission to send invites to your contacts. Easy enough!

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10!

I agree with Chris the potential is huge. It depends on execution and promotion.

I would also point that a lot of people that have WhatsApp aren't actually using it. Of my 50+/- WhatsApp contacts, more than half are listed as "last online" months ago.

Posted via CB10

People want a reliable, high end IM / Voice / Video client that is familiar and BBM is that. It is the original mobile IM and is world class in it's functionality.

Regardless of how long it took BlackBerry to decide to go cross platform, BBM remains a best in class service. I believe users will enjoy BBM as an alternative to the current offerings.

Posted via CB10

Execution of the services that accompany the app needs to be pretty much flawless in it's quality. The expectation people have of BBM is reliability and quality, this cannot be diminished in any way.

Posted via CB10

I'll admit I don't know a great deal about BBM, but I don't see it becoming an IM powerhouse. I personally don't use it. I'm an aircraft mechanic for the DOD, and I'm literally the only person on our entire facility with a Z10. One other person has an old BBRY touch pad something. If BBM is going to gain that kind of market share, shouldn't BBRY try to get more people to buy a blackberry? Or have they finally given up on that and are focusing on selling software? There's no shame in that, it worked for Sega. Fan boys aside, can someone explain how everyone is going to abandon their IM client and come running to BBM with handfuls of cash?

Posted via CB10

Whatsapp charges $1 per year (after the first year) per user. BBM could bring in much more than that in advertising and future licensing agreements. So nobody (i.e. Individual users) will be running with handfuls of cash, instead large companies will once BBM is #1 and BlackBerry starts charging companies for its services.

Chris great article as always $$,...sure BBM channels is not fully launched yet but I see that as a great Micro- enterprise platform where you can offer services for a fee, example a Pharma company providing information with cross marketing with Physicians and Pharmacies etc.. In Indonesia BBM Money with partnerships with Monetise is doing very very well. Big Hedge Fund manager Leon Cooperman has this small cap stock called Monetise as one of his top holdings and also owns BlackBerry. I do agree BBM as a communicating platform is undervalued but BBM Channels if done right can be a very profitable asset for BBRY !! Keep Moving BlackBerry !!

BBM / BBM Channels will be one of the most shared standards to FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn plus the best Social e-Commerce Enterprise Brand Messenger period !!! Okay, Okay I am giving my $25 dollars a share worth here !!

Chris, I'll say it again: When it comes to taking complicated matters and making them easy to understand, nobody does it better than you. :)

Main tweet I keep seeing

" I want a iPhone with BBM (Android customization) and a Nokia powered battery..."

Seeing this tweet about everyday on twitter and seeing how over 100,000+ billion (or however many) people downloaded a fake Android BBM app shows that's there's a high demand for BBM. BBM will make WhatsApp and any other IM app useless by the time it releases.

Posted via CB10

I am not sure about the chance BBM will have when it goes cross-platform.

I am a Chinese and also a new BlackBerry user who owns Q10. I would like to raise these points:

1) the current IM market leader in China is no doubt Tencent wechat. It is a free cross-platform app which offers voice messaging and very neat group chatting function. I think BlackBerry can and should really learn something from it.

2) BBM now offers voice and video calls, which IMHO, is the most attempting feature, since I will no longer need my iOS device for facetime-like chatting when it is on Apple device.

3) But, again, the aforementioned WECHAT is now native on Z10 and soon on Q10. Tencent is moving fast and possibly going to add more functions (say video chat) to wechat. If that's the case, I seriously question BBM's chance, well at least its chances in China.

4) Good luck, BlackBerry! You need it.

BBM :

-BBID - PIN number , Phone Number and email
-PIN 2 PIN - probably the best for BES enterprise it can keep it secure
-BBM Voice, Text , Video
-BBM Money $$$
-BBM Groups will be enhanced on 10.2OS
-BBM Channels $$$
-BBM Insta Message on 10.2OS ie: BBM Toasts
-BBM layout absolutely the best
-BBM D and R : Delivery and Read ...love it
-BBM Platform just works plain and simple !

Chinese companies excel at copying from the leaders. If BlackBerry continues with its slow and steady cadence, all the BBM software features will already be available in rival's platform by the time they fully roll out all features to iOS and Android. The only differentiating factor left would be BlackBerry's network, and we all know how much the consumers and even some businesses care about that.

BlackBerry please start running, and not just keep moving!

BBM / BBM Channels

If I am a Corporation or a micro enterprise am I going to trust some sort of hacked up Chinese BBM platform ?? Sure the Chinese Hacked Up BBM will appeal to some, but in Indonesia with the Micro enterprise e Money transaction thru Monetise and Blackberry will prove Blackberry BBM is the true deal and BBM Channels will be the next évolution of BBM if done right ! Keep Moving BB

Posted via CB10

Too late for BlackBerry to start running; they've been limping along for the past three years when there was a viable chance to regain their former leadership positions. At this point BlackBerry needs stop the promises and focus on delivery. This year will determine the company's fate. What will Thorsten do?

Posted via CB10 from the BlackBerry Z10

They need to enhance BBM groups and make lists that can be organized (not just filtered and sorted) and searchable. Enhance the basic "task management" functions by adding things like percent complete and notes! When I assign an item in lists, the user should get a BBM alert that they have been assigned a task. Of course, the user should be able to choose how they want those alerts to be displayed, or if at all. Nevertheless, folks should be able to find all the items they have been assigned in the group list.

Also want to see when sending a message to a group if the message has been sent and if all recipients has received it and read it. There should be a details button you can add to show the list of recipients and the message status for each.

Also, adding a Push To Talk feature in BBM would be amazing!!

1) make a blackberry 'wallet' app
2) partner up with visa, Mastercard, and as many banks as will get into bed with them, give them a sizeable piece of the pie and take a rather small chunk of the transaction fees
3) tie the wallet app to BBM so that folks can just use their BBid to make secure nfc payments or BBM money transfers

I think this would be a great idea as it would add some revenue to BBM, and I think it would sell as BlackBerry is known for security, so why not?

+1

Lots of potential here. I hope that they are figuring this out properly in Indonesia so that they can roll it out elsewhere. This could be very impressive!

Yes, they need to do BBM Money and exploit its potential. I'd use it tied to my credit card but not my bank -- instead of using my credit card I can NFC or make BBM Money transfers like PayPal.

Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see BBM as something that Blackberry will be able to monetize as a standalone asset. To the average technology user, Facebook is the best way to connect with others. Waze is the best way to get up-to-date driving info. Skype is the best way to video chat. Instagram is the best way to share pictures. YouTube is the best way to post video?

BBM? It's the best way to message/communicate Blackberry users. When it goes multi-platform, I'll bet it will be awesome at that. I'm not sure most users will even consider it otherwise. It may have some technology benefit to a company that needs a multiplatform communication vehicle but they better be really interested in Blackberry users because there aren't going to be a lot of other users jumping into BBM when the other tech giants are pumping resources into their best-in-class communication platforms.

BBM / BBM Channels will be one of the most shared standard to FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn plus the best Social e-Commerce Enterprise Brand Messenger period

And you think that BBM has some kind of compelling integration with Facebook and Twitter that the other platforms don't already do? Blackberry has had years to open up BBM to non-Blackberry users but hasn't taken the risk until now because they knew that the door allows two-way traffic and the number of Blackberry users going out to other hardware will not be offset by the number of people coming in to BBM.

BBM for sure took to long to go cross-platform, but my tech Eng. buddies say technically BBM works better on BB10 , "

BBM has been improved on BB10 and I'm sure the backend services have seen an upgrade too. With BBM coming to iOS and Android, I'm sure BlackBerry is anticipating a huge increase in BBM users so they are busy getting the infrastructure beefed up to handle the increased traffic load. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the delays we're hearing about. This will be big folks. None of bbm's competition will see such a massive increase in subscribers in such a short time.

They're saying all of BlackBerry is worth $0. They're just looking at the $3 billion in cash and hard assets. There is huge upside to BlackBerry on a number of fronts.

Very common to hear former BlackBerry users saying "the only thing I miss is BBM" in my view, BlackBerry has got to get this cross platform launch right. Hope for the best. As a shareholder, a fan and a neighbour. Keep moving. (up that is)

Anybody knows when is the end of summer? Is it august or September? BlackBerry needs to fricking hurry. Google is moving fast. Whats app is garbage. The only reason android does not alow group text is because Google was working o their own thing. And they are almost there.

Posted via CB10

BBM was a distinguishing platform feature, but now it is really just another communication app. The larger play for BBM is probably a Skype contender and to gain back 'Mind Share', and hopefully they can monetize it somehow, because I don't really know how Whatsapp really makes money or other messaging platforms outside of ads (which hurt the user experience)

Posted via Z10, via CB10, via my fingers

Think is why they're going cross platform! You'll soon find all your friends on it, and it will be a better overall experience than some of the tools you're using today.

I would have thought that once BBM crosses platform, the potential of the cross platform app rekindling interest in the blackberry hardware should be real. Critically is that BlackBerry takes on the challenge head on and improves on its software, both apps and OS, and push on in innovation. Simple innovation that makes life easier, with the BB10.

Posted via CB10

BBM is a valuable products that either advances blackberry's interests around the world or it will stunt its growth. I'm hoping bbm gets it right.

Lastly, my wife and I are so ready to dump Facebook to a crisper, cleaner alternative. We are keenly interested in BBM Channels. It's not yet available in Lebanon yet we hope blackberry can deliver a superior tool for sharing and mingling with family and friends.

Posted via CB10

As usual, excellent article. To you other user you guy/gals have some great thoughts on all of this as well. Keep it up!

The fact that BlackBerry has already gone cross-platform with some of their device management services (BYOD on BES10) and adding that BBM is a highly secure mobile messaging service, I think that it makes perfect sense to bring BBM cross platform. I am a former BlackBerry [Torch 9800] user and I really do miss being a BlackBerry user, most of all BBM. In my opinion ALOT of former/current BlackBerry users are excited to hear that BBM will be coming to their respective platforms at the end of the summer (AUGUST HOPEFULLY) alot them might even jump back to blackberry (me included [GS3 user here]). So basically what I am trying to say is that with the power of Enterprise (BES10/BYOD) and the Consumers, BlackBerry has an excellent chance of making their way back into the game.

To better integrate iOS and Android in a BES10 environment, BBM was necessary. But BBM also adds a lot to the consumer side of things. BlackBerry is hoping consumers and business folks will see the value of adding BlackBerry devices as well, when they start valuing BBM and BES10.

The anti BlackBerry fans are at it again with there distorted logic that people will leave BlackBerry if bbm goes cross platform.
Fact is many people love using the qwerty and hate touch screens. Also who gets a BlackBerry for just bbm? At the same time they say people will buy cheaper android and get bbm which will happen in some cases but now all those who could only afford a cheap android will be able to finally have the chance to use bbm. Tens of millions of them in Indonesia alone

Posted via CB10

Hey, 'nuff with that. BlackBerry is more than just qwerty. As good as the Q is, let's not forget that the majority of users buy touchscreens, and the Z is giving nothing away. The Z is the best touch screen out there *because* the virtual keyboard is so good! :) It's not about the apps.

BBM is good but like with so many things BlackBerry is taking its sweet time getting it cross platform which is never a good thing in the fast paced technology world.

Posted via CB10

BBM is great but i wanted to know when will instagram native app (one which is there in Android) come for BB10? Sideloaded version is very slow when compared to its usage in Android or iOS based phones !

No use of BBM right now. Cross platform BBM will give life to it. BlackBerry with Egoistic attitude made them lose to WhatsApp!

It really pisses me off watching BlackBerry moving so damn slowly!! BBM is the first mobile IM with most subscriptions but look at where they are right now. Had they started cross platform a couple of years ago, BBM alone would have valued more than BlackBerry now.

Posted via CB10

Under Thorsten, BlackBerry has realized that it's not just about selling devices. BBM was considered a feature of the device, and since the company's fortunes were based on device sales, and they didn't have a way of monetizing BBM with things like Channels then they couldn't see value in a cross platform BBM. It's not about moving slowly. They had to find ways to make money with a cross platform product.

BlackBerry's execution is mediocre at best. Good platform poor execution and poor marketing. This is becoming such an entrenched pattern that BBM will follow suit. Again blackberry is playing catch up. Social network? Cross platform? Exciting stuff 5 years ago. What's new blackberry?

Posted via CB10

If BBM goes cross-platform properly; they will smash the competition.

It's almost an unfair fight because BBM is far more superior than any messenger out there.

I hope the BBM on iOS could come sooner. My wife loves physical keyboard but she insists on iOS.

Posted via CB10

BBM™ is still the best chat application for BlackBerry / even there is WhatsUp, weChat or Line messenger. But Line is great too, the smiley / sticker is funny

Posted via CB10

BBM is NOT cross-platform!

While there are nay-sayers about WhatsApp, it is, according to them, cross-platform:

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.

In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

BBM needs to embrace more than iPhones and Android devices to enable it to compete with the likes of WhatsApp, and to make it truly cross-platform.

Please.

Dude, Android and iOS make up 90% of the market. Windows Phone is the only platform mot being considered today, but it might come later. Don't get too uptight about folks calling this a cross platform product. It is.

Hey Chris, A great article.

A few points:

1) Valuation of any chat platform is high when it has a growing trend of users like whatsapp, WeChat, Line, and Viber. No doubt BBM may be the best but it still has just 60 million users and many of them are declining at a very rapid pace. All these competitors have 200 million plus users. Trust me I am now so much used to with Whatsapp that now I would hate to change my chat application. All my groups etc are already set so many hate this change. So my point is had BBM been opened up last year it would have created a lot of value for itself. BB always loves to enter when its a crowded market.

2) No doubt now finally BBM is going to be opened up and that shall surely help the declining trend of BBM users as many would prefer BBM to even their existing chat platforms. But lets say within a year they can do 100-150 million but that would be still less than competition. Also we must not forget that competition is spending heavily on marketing their platforms. I doubt if BB marketing team would do the same for BBM. I strongly suggest they send some marketing $s on marketing and branding BBM especially to Android and IOS users.

3) Having BBM pre-installed in many hardwares is a great idea. BB should update the shareholders as to which hardware providers like Sony , Lenovo, LG etc etc shall be having or wanting BBM pre-installed. That would be a great way to market BBMs dominance and brand image.

4) Simply hate BB's management strategy of announcing opening of BBM in the event and not getting it out within a week or to be smart the very next day. You guys are really stupid to announce the launch so you give time to competitors to make changes and be prepared in advance of BBM's threat. Also its really sick to see it come right at the 3rd week of September. This is where BB misses a visionary like Steve Jobs. Heins needs to push his team and ask them get BBM out ASAP.

5) I am not 100% sure on this but as if BBM is God Blackberry may not open up all features like Video Chat, Screen Chat etc to IOS and Android. This would be a very terrible mistake. As now these features are available in competitors chat platforms. So I strongly suggest BBM should be opened up with full power and if possible even the BBM channels should go with it.

What are your views Chris on my points? Many thanks! Appreciate it!

There's just not enough volume for BBM. I have a grand total of two contacts on BBM FYI.

Proud owner of a Q10 (White)

I wish I had someone to BBM with.... amongst my friends and colleagues I'm the last BlackBerry holdout.

Posted via CB10

BBM was already a social medium with groups, status updates, and profile pics. In groups you could share photos, start conversation threads, set up a group calendar.

I would amend what Chris says about channels MAKING BBM a social medium, and rather say they enhance bbm as a social medium.

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

Imo it will be really hard for BBM to claim the first place. It's like the OS story. People won't switch because they have all their friends on current IM.

About the valuation, I'm skeptical, those exemple are expensive. Facebook valuation is a joke. Skype could be the best comparable.

Posted via CB10

Does that fact that BB10 device owners are forced to constantly run BBM whether they want to or not genuinely count towards user figures? I wonder if Android users will be permitted to uninstall or switch off BBM?

Uninstall BBM, of course they will be allowed to. As far as switching it off, I think that is dependent on how the platform handles open apps versus their processes.

Are you serious? BlackBerry users aren't forced to run bbm. You don't seem to know much about BlackBerry.

BBM might stand a chance beating whatsapp, but I seriously doubt that BBM will be no.1. Wechat now has more than 400 million users.

Posted via CB10

No real value anymore. The chat train left ages ago. Bbm now cross platform will do nothing to win over people on iOS or android. It brings nothing new to the table.

BBM should (but unfortunately won't) be released swinging and packed with features such as video chat, screen share, and video hangouts to get that huge valuation we all dream of.

IMO Channels won't be sufficient in the early stages to get people hooked on it because truth be told, BBM in it's current state, it's no different than other IM apps.

Posted via CB10

Also Chris a quick question: I hear a lot that QXN is used in Nuclear Power Plants, All major autos, and many many more applications. How do we know what does BB earn out of this? Are they giving QXN licenses for these applications for free. Even if they earn like a 100 million by licensing QXN is it ever accounted?

Great article ! I have one question, however. How do you justify a valuation of $50 per customer ? It's seems to be a lot. What really is the commercial value of a blackberry messenger user ? How is this value assessed ? So far unlike Facebook, Skype, and YouTube there has not been advertisement on the platform and the reputation of BlackBerry (one if its best long lasting assets) is that BlackBerry users' personal data and privacy are safer than on other platforms. How BBM going cross-platform will be beneficial for BlackBerry beside increasing it's number of users? How will it affect BBM users and the service on a broader level ? This is the first article maybe this has already been answered in previous articles.

Posted via CB10

Chris, thanks for the analysis. These comparisons are quite good. I had a question on another topic -- Blackberry's prepaid licensing agreement. As hardware declines, will this reduce over time? They spent $335 million last quarter despite shipping just 6.8 million devices. Effectively sending out $1.3-$1.4 billion in cash payments annually. Would this go away without hardware or reduced hardware? Seems like an albatross of an obligation if not.

Posted via CB10

There's no doubt that BBM has huge potential as a cross platform app but just like BlackBerry 10 and its hardware have massive potential, unfortunately that is only seen by current fans and people not brainwashed by the popular media narrative that BlackBerry is dead or dying. Those people are few in numbers and get fewer by the day. I think many are underestimating the up hill battle BBM will have to gain that top dog position in the cross platform segment. This is most likely to be a result of the app's connection to the BlackBerry brand and how much allure it has lost among the general public.

BlackBerry will be able to count on former users that went over to android, iOs & windows phone; those guys won't need convincing as they already know the product. Many have been monitoring BlackBerry's performance ever since they left; in fact I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of the 100 000 that downloaded the fake BBM app in iOs were former BlackBerry owners too excited by the chance to be a part of the BlackBerry experience once more. Then there is the odd techie that isn't bothered by brand loyalty, just interested in the next best thing. This type of user will probably give a cross platform BBM a decent try before forming an opinion on whether it's good or not.

The question is : in what numbers these two groups would flock (back) to BBM? And where will the tipping point be at which we can claim BBM has won the top dog position? My question for Chris and other optimists is if all the company succeeds in doing is attracting former users who are now on the other platforms, regardless of the numbers in which they return, would this still count as truly successful cross platform app? If the only people that use it are currently on BlackBerry or once were, how truly cross platform is it if few "native users" of other platforms adapt it?

Monetising is going to be challenging. One of WhatsApp's successes is the lack of ads. If BBM gets cluttered with them this will diminish the experience and will be a point gained for WhatsApp. I know I don't mind paying a minimal fee of less than a dollar a year for virtually free messaging but there seems to be many that hate the idea. That's another interesting barrier to monetisation. BlackBerry will to come with a novel business model for the app.

And then there's the launch. The company set an ambitious target of late summer for the launch, which is fast approaching and I've heard nothing of beta testing tor this app. Also rumors are rife that it will be a half complete product to be completed with video and audio functionality by the end of the year. This sounds strangely familiar to the bungled PlayBook launch which left out native email. I think they need to capitalise on the momentum and excitement around a perfectly executed launch. Otherwise if people learn the product is incomplete, no one will care for the new function 6 months later because the initial experience was sub par and with the exception of hardcore fans, not many will give BlackBerry a second chance.

Posted via CB10

They need to give an on/off option of compression. There are many occasions that I have to send through whatsapp because compressed picture is just too blurry.

Posted via CB10

To get people to move away from other IM clients BBM needs something new. BBM channels is a start. They should allow any Bbm comment to be sent to all the social networks. You should be able to post to all the social networks from BBM. So for Facebook Twitter LinkedIn etc people will use BBM. BlackBerry has always done email well. BBM should be able to send email and SMS text as well. Also BBM should be used for multi player games. Allow game communication to flow through the BBM network so you can challenge your BBM contact list friends or ask for challengers in BBM channel chat. If people can do all things communication over BBM they won't need other apps.

Posted via CB10

Ok, so iOS and Android users are used to WhatsApp, Viber, etc.Can anyone tell me, how does one persuade the iOS/Android people to set up a BB ID in order to be able to use BBM? Why should they bother with some registration, password, etc. Anyone?

I think there is a level of value that BlackBerry can unlock with BBM just be developing BBM for Windows Phone as well. They could label their service as platform notwithstanding and try to lure Windows Phone users to features they might be missing. I think not developing for Windows Phone is signifying how brands and ecosystems matter over quality of service, and thereby making a point that BB10 is still young.

BBM is not a small thing man !!! the one who uses it , knows the value of it ,...... BBM Rocks dude ...... there's no such thing made as BBM ............
Love BBM.........

Over 200 million is a low number. How many of you know more than 10 people as a minimum that will use BBM on iOS and Android. Even at 50 million active BBM users times 10 is 500 million. No question it will have over 500 million users.

Posted via CB10

The name alone... the BBM name alone. is users, android users like the names of their apps and phones.

Posted via CB10

While bbry missed the boat again let's not kid ourselves that whastapp et all can now forever be popular. Bbm is a valid threat to other messenger apps. The problem as usual is how the ceo is a liar and so far there is no tentative release date. I think summer will be gone and still we won't have bbm on ios/android

Posted via CB10

Am, the product has to be released first. I await the disappointment.. Not getting my hopes up of this coming or probably having a botched release.

I can't wait to begin promoting cross platform bbm! It is the best IM service and can be a social media network as well! It will create value for blackberry and many people will begin to use bbm again in my opinion without a doubt!

Posted via CB10

If BlackBerry can do a better job explain the potential of cross platform BBM to Wall Street and show a little progress, then the stock price could take off regardless of how hardware sales are doing. But, I'm not expecting it anytime soon. Just not Thorsten's style :)

Posted via CB10

I love the idea that BBM is now going cross platform. This is more than amazing. With the question of whether BlackBerry can do a better job, what the heck, BlackBerry's been doing great and that's a fact. The thing actually is, people should start opening their minds, ORA MISMO! :)

Great article.
Lets hope BBM goes full throttle and we nearly double the 60,000,000 to 100,000,000 by years end.

Posted via CB on a Q10

Thanks Chris, great post. The optimal word as you mention is chance. BB for the most part has lost their first mover advantage, not to say that you cannot overcome this, just will be difficult without something to stand out from the crowd. BB as well typically arrives late to the market with a great idea, and the idea to cross-platform is in response to desperation instead of genius! Just to be clear not a basher, just realist. If BB is to be successful given the uphill battle ahead of them they must 1) make sure this cross platform application works flawlessly, 2) they need to tell the marketplace when this will be available to create marketing anticipation, cannot just be open-ended as this always gives BB an out to delay, and 3) start a subtle marketing campaign in select venues, almost like gorilla marketing showing folks in iOs and Android what they will be getting.
THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY that must be executed right. My hope is that this organization start doing things right.

Video chat and voice chat will come in the android and ios version but they have to pay for the option which thats where BlackBerry will make there money from. Not a bad idea but the messenger is free

BlackBerry Z10 CB10

Chris, a very good article here. Thanks a lot!

One thing I'd like to add was that a fake BBM app was added to the Google Play store. In 3 days, there were over 200,000 downloads! This was obviously with zero marketing. Let's hope they have some sort of campaign around the X-platform BBM launch.

A final thought: If all active BBM users (~60M) as stated by Thorsten, invites or tells just 5 of his/her Android/iPhone friends, we have 300M users!!!

^ Hennessey and thor must be long lost relatives. Between them you could produce a life time supply of bs

Posted via CB10

Don't forget the power of channels. I think that will be a huge success if worked smoothly on all devices.

ChannelX C000D3759 We review channels

Got back to using blackberry with my new q10 so bbm is kinda dead on my phone currently....maybe I'll get a chance to use it soon and reevaluate things.

Btw, won't the security features vanish if it goes cross platform?

Posted via CB10

I'm thrilled by the fact, that I can chat via BBM with a lot of my family, friends and fellows in the not so distant future!:D as much as I like WhatsApp but BBM is by far my favorite IM! I'll promote BBM to hell to all the people I know!

Posted via CB10

I hope Blackberry keeps their word and releases the BBM app to Android. If they don't there's going to be a huge backlash against Blackberry. They can't afford another botched or cancelled release date.

I only use my Playbook for the web and watching movies and my Samsung for everything else as all my friends and business contacts have Android. So Blackberry really needs to get the BBM cross platform out so Android can use BBM with Blackberry users.

For BBM to be successful, BlackBerry execs need to do something that they haven't done in years and thats execute a stellar product launch. I wasn’t too thrilled when I heard that BBM was going to launch with partial features. I have a feeling this may be a mistake. I believe it should launch with almost if not parity to BB10 BBM. They can't afford to have anyone complaining about something lacking or not working otherwise it will lose momentum and will die. If they execute successfully though, it will be huge.

Posted via CB10

I agree if they under-launch the damage that will occur will not be repairable in my opinion. But this is par for the course with BB. They need to put resources behind this and get the job done properly. Why is it that other companies can do this and they always stumble?
On another note I am certainly glad that BBM is not tied to a phone number as I think this is the downfall of the other apps available. I have hesitated every time a phone number has been asked for.
Cheers,

Agreed. I do take some comfort in that their new Q10 ad is pretty good. Now they need an equivalent for the Z10 and the A10 when it launches.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry has found every possible way to lose in everything they are doing. Too bad! I try so hard to push it as a Good Canadian product but even with its good specs I can't convince people.

Posted via CB10

I agree with you. Blackberry has been having an almost nightmarish time getting new people to buy their products. I have tried myself to put the good foot forward to my friends and business associates to buy Blackberry but they are so unreceptive. Many are surprised to learn Blackberry is still around and has gotton to a point where I have had to put my beloved Playbook on the backburner and buy a Samsung so I can be in contact with everyone I know. Convincing people is like trying to pull teeth without novocaine.

Dude, seriously. GIVE UP THE BRAND LOYALTY. Do you own stock in BB? Are you an employee? No and no? Dump the BlackBerry, man! It's had its run!

Is WhatsApp really that popular? I don't know a single person that uses it.. I'd say that iMessage is the most popular mobile IM platform but no one thinks about it because Apple did a good job of making it seamlessly work side-by-side with texts. I believe BlackBerry should take the same approach with BBM. To me 2 separate messaging clients makes no sense.. why not just use 1 or the other?

Posted via CB10

I'm sure it's been said on here already, but I'm worried about not having video call functionality at launch when it goes cross platform. Just the text component isn't going to catch on. So a bunch of people are going to download it and likely delete it before blackberry gets around to providing a full feature set. Then there's the people that won't download it in the first place if it doesn't have video chat and whatnot.

Posted via CB10

The new BBM has video chat and channels! And the BB10 owns the email world! And business world! And has great new entertainment for blackberry! Soo! Go cross platform with BBM the world would love it!

Posted via CB10

BBM is good... though I have used it only twice...
Hope to have more contacts after BBM goes cross platform...

Posted via the awesome z10 using CB10

The one thing I have to say is that even people who think BlackBerry is a joke still have some respect for BBM. I think It will do quite well.

Posted via CB10

Get BBM cross platform now!!!! Not sure if QNX is difficult to program or what but how long does this take?? BlackBerry need a to move faster. Cross platform was announced over two months ago and it is still only a pipe dream. Get something out there...NOW!!!

Posted via CB10

Its not that QNX is hard to program for, its just that all the devs are set up to program for either Android or Apple and not much else.

I really want the BBM cross platform for my Playbook but I'm not going to hold my breath with Blackberry's track record. I wouldn't be surprised if the BBM project falls through just like Playbook did, but lets wait and see.

I have really tried to be a good embassador for Blackberry trying to get friends and associates to try it to no avail. Many people I know are at a point now where they think Blackberry is actually bankrupt or don't want to bother.

Crossplatform BBM was been announced at ... spring 2011, so... Crossplatform BBM = PB with BB10 OS :), just wait, we're coming to get over the top of the World!

I know - it will be full of bugs and limitations on iOS/Android. Another useless IM, like a KiK, Beluga etc...

And yes leverage BlackBerry Link into more than what it is!!! It needs to be able to deal with BBM on the desktop level as well. Move it BB! Get er done!!! BlackBerry moves almost as slow as Microsoft yet is way smaller. BlackBerry needs to embrace a smaller company structure and innovate. It's one step away from how government moves. We need results like yesterday!!!!!

Posted via CB10

Thorsten is an articulate CEO but unfortunately he has not been able to change the culture at BB. I would love to see them execute the BBM cross-platform perfectly with all the features available to the BB world. It would be such a disappointment if what is initially delivered is lacking the functionality that attracts people to continue using this messenger. BB just once, put aside your arrogance and deliver a product that is truly equal across platforms. It's a wish that has a very slim chance of happening.

"Competitors hardware is not so good to run BBM, so we make hard decision..." (c) Torsten Heins, near future.

There is so much prejudice out there against Blackberry so I think it's up to all of us to push all our friends/contacts into trying Bbm (apart from ex BlackBerry users as they'll use it anyway)

Posted via CB10

BBM needs to incorporate effortlessly with text messaging in the same way that iMessage does in iOS. I switched from an iPhone to the z10 and loved that feature.

Posted via CB10

First off, before even reading comments, much of which is bound to be 'opinionated' and personally biased, as forums are wont to be, may I just applaud the author for an excellent read. Food for thought, and whilst stating much of what BlackBerry users know from their own experience, the author has brought this across in context with the rest of this very high-stakes, media-spanning, connection-ranging playing field. Thanks!

autocorrect's for the birds -- SQN100-2. V10.1.0.4651

I think one of the hardest, most ephemeral things to grasp is public opinion, and how easily swayed by overzealous sales reps these sheep are. Twice in my own experience have I sent someone to a cellphone store, having shown them my Q10, only to find that some slick-slimeball of a salesman's sold them an S4! B/c Samsung gives corporate kickbacks to the telcos. So in many ways, beyond just producing a rock-solid cross platform conversion that has to be natively coded in both android and iOS, BlackBerry HAS to market solidly. Stellarly in fact, in order to sway market opinion. It's immensely frustrating to hear someone come back and tell me "you know, I was so set in buying that new BlackBerry you showed me, but this guy was sooo persuasive, and now I hate my S4". How criminally ironic is that? For BBM to go cross platform SUCCESSFULLY, it has to be accessible, not only in actual use, but in the IMAGINATION & PERCEPTION of it's target market. Something which is a significantly uphill battle. I'm not contending to be a technophile, even if I was building my own PC's in '91, and over clocking dual CPU's m/boards by '95. I just know that what we, as technologically fluent people, will never get across to the other 98% of the population. And we won't be the ones to keep BlackBerry or any other flailing tech company afloat. They, the companies, will be the ones to do so, if, and only if, they can bridge that accessibility gap.

autocorrect's for the birds -- SQN100-2. V10.1.0.4651

Guys,

there are so many cross platform apps out now, there is a momentum in the market. Blackberry has still a name in chat apps, that's for sure.

Hike, WeChat, Whatsapp, etc. need competition. BB can smoke them if they come out with a way to find contacts fast and connect easily. So given it runs stable, it would take off in my opinion.

It's so sad to see that over the last 3 years my chats shifted 99.9% away from BBM. There is just nobody left in my contact list. It's very tragic to see the exodus from Blackberry. I have 7 contacts left and I just checked. 2 more have the message: No BBM. Whatsapp only +XXXXXXXXX as their status message.

Blackberry must see that in the numbers of messages sent and received. It must be a landslide.

And that from a company who has basically invented the mobile data based chatting infrastructure.

So gooooo BB, release cross platform BBM already. But please make it as easy as whatsapp to connect. Otherwise it might just not start well.

By the way, try out hike. It's actually so similar to BBM it's shocking and heavily used in India, where it's from. It's extremely well done.

Dear BBM, please kindly fix the problem of lagging messages, apps not connecting to bbm like Foursquare, BBM Avatars and Motion Avatars. Thank you.

Posted via CB10

I personally think it would be very difficult to change the mind of ios or android users to use bbm without a great big marketing, tv newspaper ads bombardment

Posted via CB10

So why not spin-off BBM as a separate, clean company, no legacy issues. Best messaging platform. Value will be more than $6 billion, or $12 a share minimum, much higher bthan tyhe whole Fairfax deal. But then if that happens, all shareholders make money, not just fairfax. And if company not sold, Heins does not make 55 milllion. Just sayin...