WhatsApp vs. BBM - cross-platform messaging head-to-head

WhatsApp and BBM
By Simon Sage on 12 Sep 2013 03:27 pm
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For many, WhatsApp has become the standard way to chat with friends. Sure, there are more pervasive networks like Facebook and Google Talk, err, Hangouts, but WhatsApp has in no uncertain terms filled the gap of a cross-platform BBM over the last couple of years. Now that that BlackBerry Messenger is finally launching on iOS and Android, will WhatsApp automatically become defunct, or do they have too much of a head start at this point for BBM to catch up? We’re going to put BBM and WhatsApp head-to-head to figure out which comes out on top.

Set-up

WhatsApp creates an account based on your phone number. On the one hand, this is helpful since you don’t have to mess around with passwords; when setting up on a new device, it just sends a verification SMS to your number and the app scans for it. For friends that already have your number in your address book, this works out really well - WhatsApp automatically shows them that you’re on WhatsApp too. On the downside, this also means that you’ve got to give out your phone number when adding brand new friends. You've also got to pop your SIM card into a new device when switching before you can set up WhatsApp. This can be a hassle if you're using a secondary phone or SIM temporarily. iMessage suffers from a similar anchor to phone numbers. 

BlackBerry Messenger by contrast leans on PIN numbers. Though these were traditionally tied specifically to BlackBerry devices, now anybody starting up on Android or iOS will get their own unique PIN numbers too. New users also sign up for a BlackBerry ID, which provides more traditional e-mail-based log-in to BBM. Unfortunately, unlike WhatsApp, you’ve got to start building up your BBM contact list from scratch. If you’re switching devices, you can back up your contact list to the cloud then remotely restore it on the new device thanks to BBID however.

Contact management

It’s important to remember that adding a WhatsApp contact doesn’t just mean you need someone’s phone number; you also need them in your device’s address book. This can be convenient or a pain depending on who you’re trying to add. If it’s a friend you’re already close to, super. If it’s someone you don’t expect to be talking to a month from now, it’s a hassle. That said, WhatsApp has a full contact blocking mechanism in place, just like BBM.

Of course, if that contact has your phone number, harassment over SMS and even voice calling is just a stone’s throw away. Plus, if your friend switches phone numbers, you may find strangers creeping into your contact list as complete randoms grab those old numbers and sign up for WhatsApp. It also means you’ll have to build up a new contact list if you need to switch numbers for whatever reason. At least WhatsApp has a way to mark contacts as favorites for easy access, which BBM can’t claim.

Though BBM contacts can be linked to those in your native address book, they aren’t dependent on it. Though it’s easy to think that adding contacts might be a hassle with cryptic PIN numbers, it’s actually pretty easy between NFC, barcode scanning, and straight-up e-mail invites. Neither service has a tag system in place for organizing your contacts into, say, work and personal groups, though group chat is present in both - more on that later.

Text chat

The core of both experiences is text messaging. Both rock typing and delivery receipts, though in slightly different ways. As you may have heard before, one check in WhatsApp means the message was delivered to the server, and a second means that it was delivered to the sender - not that they've necessarily read it. Though WhatsApp lets you know at the top when the last time was that a user had checked their messages, strictly speaking, only BBM has read receipts which is a huge bonus. You can see that your message was successfully delivered and when it was read by the recipient. Both services have group chat, chat archiving, and chat clearing, which can be equally important. 

BBM has a few extras tied in when it comes to messaging. Conversations can be copied to share elsewhere and e-mailed. Depending on the kinds of conversations you have, these might be features you’d actually prefer to be skipped, but for most folks it’ll come in handy.

File sharing

WhatsApp only shares pictures and video files, while BBM allows users to swap any file type. Both platforms can send contacts and location, too. BBM also allows groups of people to share images, but no other file types, unfortunately. On the upside, group pictures on BBM have robust caption, comment, and upvoting mechanisms.

Group chat

Both BBM and WhatsApp support group chat, but BBM’s offering is decidedly more rich. Both allow sharing of images to a group, but curiously, BBM Groups doesn’t support video, location, or contact sharing. Meanwhile WhatsApp maintains file sharing parity with one-on-one chat. BBM makes up for the discrepancy with shared to-do lists and events, plus a much more fleshed-out user interface for accessing all that content. Groups on BBM can also host multiple separate conversations, which is great for larger groups. 

The real clincher for group chat on BBM is BBM Channels. This allows users to anonymously subscribe to channels which broadcast all sorts of content at them. Direct chat can be enabled between channel owners and followers too, which is great for promoting engagement and handling stuff like giveaways or "office hours". Channel owners get metrics on traffic and a web interface for publishing updates - perfect for brand owners looking to reach a new demographic. Though Channels won't be available on Android or iOS versions at launch, they should be arriving shortly thereafter. 

Any channels to which your subscribe aren't shown to the public either. Unlike Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. you can't see what channels someone is actually subscribed to, so in that regard Channels does provide a great deal of privacy.

Voice and video chat

Both WhatsApp and BBM support the sending of audio snippets recorded directly from the device. WhatsApp certainly wins out in its implementation of voice notes, but that’s trumped pretty quickly by BBM Voice. The quality of real-time VoIP on BBM is fantastic - in fact, it makes me wish I got more BBM Voice calls. Also, despite having a very snappy-looking push-to-talk implementation, voice notes sent cross-platform on WhatsApp were a little on the laggy side.

Though you can share video files back and forth on WhatsApp, there’s no live video chat. Again, BBM wins out with stable video chat, and the newer addition of screen sharing. That’s not coming to other platforms just yet, but it’s on the way.

Emoticons and personalization

BBM comes with 90 core emoticons. WhatsApp blows that out of the water with 189, though, at least on a BlackBerry, BBM has access to about 600+ hidden emoticons provided you know the right code for them (or download an app which helps keep track of them).

BBM also enjoys a few other points of personalization that you won’t find on WhatsApp. For one, there’s the classic PING action, the give your friends a little nudge when they’re being slow to reply. BBM used to support multiple styles of chat bubbles, that hasn’t made the leap to the BB10 version yet. WhatsApp, however, lets you swap in custom wallpapers for your chat windows, which is a nice touch.

Notifications and profiles

Both WhatsApp and BBM feature native blips in the notification tray, as well as options for tone, LED and vibration for incoming messages. I’ve found on BlackBerry WhatsApp’s appearance in the Hub is inconsistent; your mileage may vary with Android and iOS notifications.

Status and profile

Both BBM and WhatsApp have a profile structure in place that supports custom status messages and profile pictures. BBM wins points for a busy icon option, and optional updates for what music you’re listening to in the native music player. Finally, BBM profiles can also link up with apps, providing a sampling of what you use to anyone looking, as well as more practical functions, like updating your status with your latest Foursquare check-in. WhatsApp has an impressive selection of preset status messages, but that’s about it.

Bottom Line

After all of that, is there a clear winner? Well, assuming the iOS and Android versions keep feature parity with BB10 (aside from stuff like channels and screen sharing for the time being), I think it’s safe to say BlackBerry Messenger is going to do just fine competing with WhatsApp. WhatsApp has had the time to polish its user interface, build a strong installed base, and start implementing a mostly-complete feature set, but service is still spotty, and lacking in forward-thinking features.

Between the robust groups set-up, solid messaging foundation, and upcoming screensharing, video calling, and voice calling capabilities, BBM is going to be hard to beat by third parties, and in some cases, by first parties. All of the current features of BBM on BlackBerry like voice, video and screen sharing will be on their way to other platforms in the very near future, so it will make BBM stand even stronger. The only real challenge for BBM is getting those comfortable with existing networks to switch. 

282 comments

michaelshawn

BBM wins

Posted from My all in one beauty Z10

ianbordas

I hope BlackBerry will have some kind of trick up their sleeves to help with the "Adding Contacts" process on iOS and Android, even if it does scan the phone numbers in order to send a download LINK automatically to all or selected contacts. Adding pin by pin might be a bit too much work for some people (lazy)...

Dave79

I hate the fact that whatsapp pull all your address book but I wonder if having to create a BBID will put people off.

Also as in the forum post I think Wechat is attracting lots of interest and has more user than Whatsapp:
http://forums.crackberry.com/armchair-ceo-f410/wechat-already-doing-what...

scalemaster34

Having to get a pin number from someone they already have a phone number for is what will put them off.

I keep hearing with PINS you don't have to give out your phone number... well you are still giving them a way to contact... so what?

Dave79

Personally I'm not put off that I have to give someone my number I'm put off by the fact that Whatsapp pull ALL my address book contacts. I have a bout 1000 contacts saved and many are saved so that when they call I know better not to answer, surely I wouldnt want them in an IM app of sort..

freedomx20a

Spam calls for new business SEO/google etc don't want my number out there.

Only pin

Posted via Q10 using CB10

walnuts1024

Much easier to block future contact with bbm. Simply remove from contact and block future requests.

Posted via CB10

BBThemes

In whatsapp jus add to blocked list. It's not exactly hard.

Posted via CB10

Always smiling

But the meat head that contacts you at all hours now has your phone number!

Being in the service industry I have clients that constantly say "text me". I refuse on the basis that they then have my cell phone number and have no problem calling at all hours asking stupid questions that can wait for the next business day. I have my number displayed as restricted on outgoing calls for this reason and past lessons learned.

My company has a phone number for a reason, so clients can contact me that way or by email.

BBThemes

well, if BB10 has the same profiles options as BBOS id say sset that contact to silent if they were really that bad, or send a few sharp words their way. either way they could still email you every minute with BBID. custom profiles cant return to BB soon enough.

xsacha

BBM doesn't use PINs anymore.

Mike Wadas

You can connect BBM contacts instantly with NFC. But for the friends you rarely see you will need to add their pins.

4abetterworld

Not to poke too many holes, but I find that there are a few errors in this article.

1) BBM will scan your contacts to find emails that correspond to BBIDs ans suggest those people as contacts, helping to give you a head start when you sign up, similar to the current implementation in BB10.
2) There is in fact a way to "tag" contacts in BBM. Go to your contacts page in BBM, then long press a contact and select "Move". You can then put them in categories like family, friends, coworkers, etc.

Dave79

Had the same thoughts. However the scanning thing isn't very accurate, it suggest me lots of people I know they moved to Android months ago.
For example. For one person I know it's because she has her BB pin listed in her "about" onb her FB profile.

Posted via CB10

Nharzhool

Also, on the BB10 devices; you can add BBM users to your Priority Hub (I know it isn't exactly a feature of BBM but it still helps) where Whatsapp doesn't support that yet.

Schmurf

Thanks for the info, that was useful.

Posted via CB10

Plazmic Flame

I really hope that BBM will win but it's definitely going to take time. In my circles outside of work, everyone I've told that BBM is coming to iPhone and Android have instantly pledged their allegiance to BBM again, lol

Can't wait, "chomping at the bit" for this thing to come out.

hawbman

I hope BBM add translation engine and a feature to talk in native language. So I can type in Bahasa and my foreign friend type in their native language.

Also, for BBM Channel, please add menu to create category/folder. If I subscribe many channels, I can create a folder for channels that I want check frequently.

Option for list view of channel (in addition to grid view) is also appreciated.

Posted via CB10

Morusfan

Threre's not any fight!

Posted via CB10

BBThemes

Your right. Ones fully cross platform, one spans 3 (or at least soon will).

Posted via CB10

Morusfan

My answer does not consider it from a strictly commercial point of view, becouse no one knows the future but the real strengh of the product is obvious. I use every day both but BBM is ahead. That's a fact!

Posted via CB10

BBThemes

Doesn't that depend how you define ahead though? I mean ibseebwherebyour defining it from features, yet many would look at user base and come to the opposite conclusion.

Posted via CB10

1roguecanuck

Huge believer that BBM will take a massive chunk out of whatsapp. With any luck we won't have to wait long to see.

Posted via CB10

N3RVE

This will most likely be the case for most people here in Nigeria. A lot of us here own BlackBerrys, a few broke out and adopted Android powered and Apple devices, these users have been using WhatsApp to stay in touch with contacts, however with BBM going cross platform, WhatsApp will definitely lose some. And unfortunately, so will BlackBerry. IMO BlackBerry should of waited for BB10 to stack up against the competition before going cross platform with BBM.

Z10, 10.2.0.1521 (P/CB 10)

scalemaster34

Places where BBM is already strong... will see a big bump in users.

Places where BBM is currently on fewer than 5% of device... it will have a hard time getting adoption.

Nharzhool

Not necessarily on the latter point...BBM is a very good messaging system where my whatsapp often breaks itself...no matter which phone I use it on: my 9790, my 8520, my 9360, my Zed, my Nokia 5800 or my Samsung i560...they were all erratic.

varun wasan

'however with BBM going cross platform, WhatsApp will definitely lose some. And unfortunately, so will BlackBerry.'

Don't think people use BlackBerry for bbm. Those who love the excellence of BlackBerry use BlackBerry and those who don't switch. So I don't think bbm going cross platform result in BlackBerry loosing users.

'IMO BlackBerry should of waited for BB10 to stack up against the competition before going cross platform with BBM.'

I think it's a good move. UI of ross platform BBM will also serve as a free advertisement for bb10 in hundreds of millions of mobiles.

Via my Z10

harryhayde

Lol there's no competition bbm4all

Posted via CB10

bbelux1

But Whatsapp helped me to communicate for more than 2 years now... and BBM is not yet released...

Posted via CB10

ediggity

And when it is released?

Posted via CeeBee 10 on that Whiteberry

BBThemes

When it is released it still won't be available on pretty much every device. So those wishing to contact wp users or other platforms will still keep whatsapp

Posted via CB10

amazinglygraceless

Yes they do and in sufficient numbers to have relegated BlackBerry to 4th in terms of market share.

green_ember

Don't worry; I'm sure that Microsoft will come out with bsodMessage to compete with BBM, WhatsApp, and iMessage

Genghis2k3

Before that, for how many years was texting doing the job for you? Many will jump to BBM because it's available, even though much of their messaging could still be handled by Whatsapp. Or even texting.

FirstBerry101

Going to be hard to get all my family on BBM, took a long time to get them over to whatsapp.

Not sure there is an advantage to switch from whatsapp to bbm for normal chat users.

Posted via CB10

Fidel Mercado

I am curious to test out BBM on my S4. It looks really cool. There are a bunch of instruction apps already in the market.

Duffman19

People will not ditch WhatsApp for BBM if they release a stripped down version.

Plus groups on other platforms of WhatsApp perform much better than Blackberry's version

Posted via CB10

ediggity

And what exactly does whatsapp offer over BBM right now?

Posted via CeeBee 10 on that Whiteberry

jay_men

At this point, WhatsApp has better group interactions with their sharing options within a group chat. I think that's enough to make it very difficult for me to convince my group of friends / family to convert.

pick1eberry

It won't be stripped down for long after release.

Posted via CB10

bp3dots

It won't take long for people to lose interest. If people are trying it at launch and not seeing a benefit, they aren't going to stick around for months waiting. They'll just uninstall and go back to whatever app they were using before.

MozThaGreat

+100. This is why I predict BBM wont take off once it goes cross platform. Cross platform video is the killer feature needed for BBM.

GEO1ER

+1 agreed!

Posted via CB10

bbmtna

All well and good, but we still don't know when it's being released.

(someone had to say it or was going to say it)

Posted via CB10

Kiddo2050

I don't need to read this article because What's App wins hands down. Why? Because it is cross platform and BBM is "coming soon." This is Blackberry's moto: " Blackberry, Great Stuff, Coming Soon"

iToya

Welp! When BBM is released we shall see. I k ow all my friends are downloading it.

Posted with a flick of my thumb via CB10

ediggity

I see what you did there OBC :p

Posted via CeeBee 10 on that Whiteberry

green_ember

I can tell that you have a Z10 because you got a space where the N should be in "know". That drives me nuts about my keyboard and I'm glad to see it's not just me

N3RVE

The article says BBM let's you know "when" the messages were read. Perhaps, that's an oversight, but BBM doesn't support this, it's a feature I wish existed.

Z10, 10.2.0.1521 (P/CB 10)

jope28

Never thought about it, but I like your idea of a time stamp of when the msg was read. Great thinking!

Anonymous2039

BBM let's you know "if" they were read, but not necessarily when, unless you're watching to see when the "read" notification will appear.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

axllebeer

BBM! Just waiting for it to hit!

sebstarr

Maybe a large migration once the video and screenshare versions are released. In the meantime I will do my best to get my friends to try it !

Posted via CB10

Gregory Ryan

Man, I know it's close! Today is a great day for it!

Posted via CB10

offyoutoddle

the question is this. People always take the path of least resistance. So why change to bbm if your friends are all on whatsapp? Can't see this working out well personally. A few features that no one will probably ever use are not going to convince them its superior, and if your friends are not on it, it certainly isn't superior. That's where it starts and ends really, so BBMx is going to face a massive uphilll struggle, traditionally not where Blackberry are at their best.

Infiniti14

Having the read notification (R) is awesome.

Posted via CB10

N3RVE

This! However, when I used the legacy BlackBerry devices, I'd view the chat history to read the messages and close them without the user getting the read receipt, Lol. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible.

Z10, 10.2.0.1521 (P/CB 10)

BlackJack-21

All I know is, when BBM goes live and becomes cross platform. I'm getting my friends to switch from Whatsapp. The best part is that it's free.

When the mass catches on, BBM will be relevant again and so as BlackBerry in the process.

Posted via CB10

Johnny Crack

I like what's app...

It's the closest thing to BBM... but it's not even close.. BBM wins.

Q10

biggest BlackBerry fan

Microsoft gave us Skype... shouldn't bbm go to wp?

N3RVE

LOL! I agree it's only fair WP get BBM.

Z10, 10.2.0.1521 (P/CB 10)

slomo408

I'm sure it will eventually. I'd rather have them work on feature parity with iPhone and Android first.

Posted via CB10

LyBerry

Yes, but they made us wait for an extended time period just to give us an Android port. #Lazy They made us wait, they can wait. Lol

Posted via CB10

sirfly2fly

You can add BBM Contacts by also

Posted via CB10

Plazmic Flame

Care to finish that statement?

Genghis2k3

Is that Also app in BlackBerry World, or did you side load an android app? :-)
Finish your thought - it could be useful info.

Loc22

One more thing I just realised... if you were to call your friend and he does not answer, perhaps he is not in the country or in a different time zone... BBM profile can help you see that and you don't get mad at your friend when you are calling him at 3 am local time and he is not answering.

nikgilbe

Think I'll be putting a permanent out of office style status on WhatsApp saying my BlackBerry PIN (I do wish people would stop saying PIN number....its like saying BBM messenger).

I've hopefully managed to convince my usual contacts to go BBM when it's out

Z10STL100-2/10.1.0.4828

Funq

That's what I plan to do as well.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10

Anonymous2039

I know. I hear that all the time. What really gets me is that here in Canada, the Royal Bank of Canada's official name is "RBC Bank".

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

iwasspartacus

RBC? Fuck them. Still no BB10 app.

Posted via CB10

Killington

My buddy is a project leader for mobile apps at RBC. BB10 app is dropping this fall.

Kurt Windibank

BB should offer a "Bounty" to current BBM users for bringing in non platform users. Give us a one dollar App world credit for every 5 new BBM users we haul in. It would grow the user base HUGE overnight!!!

Sequester#WN

I'm a big BlackBerry fan but I think that BBM will not be a game changer. Reasons are:

There are already more than 300,000,000 Whatsapp users and e.g. in Germany one in four of the citizens (!) already uses it.
Setting it up is dead easy and I won't send a message to someone who is not in my address book anyway.
Whatsapp is the only true multi platform messenger. It works on BlackBerry, Android, Apple, Sambia, Windows Phone and some feature phones.

The only advantage of BBM might be security. However, I am not sure if BBM is more secure and nobody seems to care what the NSA does outside the USA anyway (although I do really hope that this will hurt American business and therefore the policies will be changed).

My 1.50217816 Euro-Cents

Posted via CB10

diogoteixeira87

You may be right, but you may be wrong!

Posted via CB10

piper975

I will deleting whatsapp as soon as iOS and Android have it and friends are up and running on BBM

Kurt Fathul

Don't forget before you delete your WhatsApp, change your WhatsApp status to "I'm no longer using WhatsApp, add my BBPin XXXXXXXX."

Posted via CB10

3_M4N

Samesies.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10!

chrisstlaurent

Nice article!

BlackBerry for leaders, not followers.

liroteam

Amazing

Posted via CB10

diogoteixeira87

What a crazy thing this emoticons stuff. Anyone have the list of codes? I can't find on the forums! Thanks

BBM always!

Posted via CB10

derizzle

My friends are all waiting to download bbry on their iPhones and android phones... pls hurry up before they change their mind...

Sent by Bbry Zed10

AlwaysSmile

Btw thanks for DJ's number.... it's in one of the screen shots...! thanks man

Posted via CB10 ~ Follow me on Twitter @TheNewsHQ for all news as it happens ~

Dave79

Lol I've seen it too.

Skyforever

Read receipt. Love it! BBM on multiplatforms will be awesome. Need to include everybody though. No smart phone should be left out.

diogoteixeira87

Tomorrow is Friday 13 :[ What a great day for BBM cross platform news! :D

Posted via CB10

BBPandy

Yea I hope BlackBerry improves their Voice Notes implementation. They seem to like to make things complicated. Look at Channels. They have made getting to your subscribed channels a pain in the @SS the first beta's had an icon at the bottom of the screen. Now you have to pull up a menu on bottom Left, then tap on the second buttom on the bar at the top of the screen. Then scroll past suggested Channels. I mean what the heck is that? People won't use something if it's too complicated to get to. I love channels but they need to get TAT in there ASAP to help them with their GUI

Posted via CB10

gnirkatto

That was my main complaint at the latest survey. It's too complicated to get to your subscribed channels. Stupid.

Posted via CB10

Killington

It's those very surveys that fosters improvements. They listened and implemented quite a few things each time they've released a new beta version. Hence why they continuously ask for feedback. The community of early adopters has a strong say in its evolution before going live. Just my observation.

4abetterworld

I guarantee that you won't have to add all of your contacts manually. BBM will search your contact book to look for emails that correspond to BBIDs. You'll then be able to invite based off this suggested list...much like how it's currently implemented in BB10.

Posted via CB10

Grizzli

Anyone else nervous that BBRY is going to screw the pooch and drop the ball (again) and release a half-baked, buggy, P.O.S. BBM for Android/iOS?

Love BBRY, but execution isn't traditionally their strong point.

*fingers crossed*

pagozahd

3 things I really want Blackberry to fix:
1st- is fix the text message, it looks so crappy, by blackberry 10 I thought they were gonna fix that. they should add color to it. to distinguish the sender in the receiver, plus add emojis.
2nd is same as txt messafe BBM need to add Emojis and add color too. back on OS7 you had the option to do it. and like whats app.. and the push to talk.. I personally like that feature

tjross

Can BBM run on desktop?

Posted Via CB10 from my BB Q10

kszys

Right. I am waiting for the same thing. When I am working on a computer (a lot during the day), I have to constantly reach for my phone to use BBM. This is ridiculous. Had to switch to GT (although now with Hangouts it's become unusable again...)

Posted via CB10

DSL9700

it seems like an app could easily do this.

Anonymous2039

Technically, yes you probably could by installing the Android BlueStacks emulator and installing the BlackBerry Messenger application in the emulated phone, though it would be kind of clunky.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

mistercarter7

WhatsApp has been working like a charm since last year and most people, if not almost my entire phonebook, has it installed. meanwhile BBM use it 2 people, which obviously wont make me ditch WhatsApp in favor of BBM no matter what "magic tricks" it may have

xiaohuaxing

2 people have it because it's not out yet for iPhone / Android? LOL

timmy t

I think you are missing the point.

Kiddo2050

You need backbone. Once BBM goes cross platform I'm refusing all text and what's app messages. If people can't get me with BBM, screw them they will be deleted. :)

xiaohuaxing

That's what I'm doing. Actually I already deleted whatsapp because my free trial happened to expire this week. I told people to download BBM or text me, whatsapp no longer an option

Posted via CB10

Anonymous2039

Whatsapp COSTS? Then it is guaranteed that people will jump to BBM. Who wouldn't?

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

Blomsternisse

1 USD a year. How cheap can you be? It's the same cheap ass mentality which pollutes Google Play Store. A bunch of grown ups who pay hundreds of dollars worth of phones and subscriptions, yet won't pay a dollar or two for an application.

narci

I think the biggest roadblock for BBM success is that everyone who has never owned a Blackberry thinks BBM for iOS and Android is only to message Blackberry users.

Note to people...

It doesn't matter if you don't know anyone with a Blackberry because BBM is going to be cross platform.

iOS users can message iOS, Android and BB users
Android users can message Android, iOS and BB users
BB users can message bb, Android and iOS users

narci

Quick question...If I have a personal BB with BBM and a work iPhone with BBM, which device gets the message?

Anonymous2039

Probably both.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

DSL9700

you can only have active on one device.

narci

How would that work?

I have BBM on my BB, I cannot 'log out' of it.

Genghis2k3

Since BBM utilizes a PIN, the respective PIN would determine which device receives the message. Unless I misunderstood your question.

Btw, that's an ignored advantage other messaging services (Google talk) have over BBM and Whatsapp -multiple device use. Or am I also wrong about that?

narci

If that's the case, if I try to log into BBM on iPhone, it will prompt me saying it's already in use?

Genghis2k3

I don't think you will get an already in use message. if a separate PIN is assigned to ios and android devices, I'm guessing you'd have a separate presence on BBM for each device. You can move your pin from BlackBerry to BlackBerry device but you can't share it between devices. Anyone want to correct me on this?

Will cross platform PIN not be device specific?

DJ Reyes

Only one BBID per device. So, you would have to create a BBID for both devices. You wouldn't be able to have the same BBM account on two devices.

50 Brent

I find that the majority of my friends that have left BlackBerry, have not adopted Whatscrapp. The ones that have, are like me and only check it if we happen to receive a message on there. Otherwise, I may check it if I am bored and am interested in seeing if I have any new contacts. I don't hate the app and think it is a great attempt at cross-platform IM, however I love my BBM and the read receipt feedback. When BBM goes cross-platform, I will be doing my part to ensure all of my regular contacts have added it to their phones and I will insist on strictly using BBM for communications. I am done with SMS and MMS.

chern

i love BBM. and I'm just waiting for the multi-platform release so i can erase my whatsapp app (soon my skype). what really bugs me and worries is the bbm has that 6MB limited while whatscrap has a 12.

Fnen90

The only thing that id like to have on BB10 is Emoji. Thats what me and people want.

cool_beans

Too bad I don't know anyone that uses BBM

Posted via CB10

narci

Why would you need to know anyone who currently is using BBM?

slomo408

That doesn't mean you won't when it goes cross platform.

Posted via CB10

narci

That's why I said 'current' since BB users are currently the only ones with BBM.

After it's released, your BBm list can comprise of iSO users only.

You don't need to know any BB users to use BBM.

narci

BTW, Whatsapp users...there is no Delivery or Read notification.

The first tick is tells you it's delivered to server.

The second tick means it's delivered to device.

Notcho

When? Did they mention a date?

Sent from The Legendary Zed10

Fnen90

A date from BB ?? ha ha ha ...dream Notcho, dream. Remember: "Coming soon"... hahah!

Notcho

I'm thinking the 20th when ios software update comes out. Hoping today, tomorrow, soon

Sent from The Legendary Zed10

R Field

19th is the date I've heard going around

mithrazor

BBM can win if they bring the same features WhatsApp has. They have quite a few of their own features as well.

And also easy adding BBM contacts through phone numbers in your contacts.

Daniel Rudolf

I thought PINs are tied to the hardware, so are PINs now tied to your BBid?

I own a Z10 but I have never used BBM, if I were to update to the Z30/A30, can I keep my current PIN.

DSL9700

no but you keep your id and contacts that follows you.

DJ Reyes

No, if you got another device, that device would have it's own PIN. However, you can pull all your contacts to your new device via BBID. What is meant by BBM being tied to BBID is that it's now a way to back up, making device switching easy.

Plazmic Flame

Going forward, I think BBID will generate you a unique pin and because your BBID will not change, it will always be unique to you. I think this will apply to those using BBM on other platforms.

The PIN that is tied to your hardware though, stays with the hardware.

xiaohuaxing

Doesn't the "Suggested" contacts in BBM let you know who in your phone book has BBM? I can't tell because mine is blank lol

Posted via CB10

Anonymous2039

BlackBerry Messenger retrieves email addresses from your phonebook and checks this with a database of BlackBerry IDs. If anybody in your phonebook has a BlackBerry ID, they'll appear in your "Suggested"list.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

xiaohuaxing

That's what I thought. I hope I start seeing entries pop up there soooon

Posted via CB10

Killington

I have added two contacts recently from the suggested area. Works great. Both friends that move away to other cities and were issued work Berry's. Another added me the very same method.

papped

"Unfortunately, unlike WhatsApp, you’ve got to start building up your BBM contact list from scratch. If you’re switching devices, you can back up your contact list to the cloud then remotely restore it on the new device thanks to BBID however."

This is what is going to really kill them... This is what lets WhatsApp spread easily and makes it appear more useful at the start.

darylsuds

I'm a diehard BBM user and am hopeful that BBM will catch on once they go cross platform.

My concern is that people are inherently lazy and requiring any effort on their part will cause BBM grief. The other issue is that like it or not BlackBerry has a lot of haters out there, even ex BlackBerry users. Some will vehemently oppose BBM for that reason only.

Picture the scene, 7 out of 10 of your work contacts switch to BBM while the rest refuse. This will result in a disjointed system.

To me the ease of adding getting a bbmid must be super easy. If not it will not succeed.

Posted securely by BlackBerry Z10

SamirSaxena

Good article comparing two leading messaging services. The only issue I forsee is ease of switching from WhatsApp to BBM. Few friends who I impressed into shifting to BB10 from android/ios haven't yet adopted to BBM and still rely on WhatsApp.. primarily because majority of the people in their network are using WhatsApp.. these friends of mine, don't even share their PIN to anybody (some in fact have only me in their BBM contact) and rather have people connect with them on WhatsApp..

Posted via CB10

dguy123

Makes perfect sense. BBM isn't cross platform. When it is they won't have the same objections, i'd wager.

Posted via CB10

luvsql

Clearly the best part of adding a person as a BBM contact (if they're on a BB) is by scanning the barcode of someone else's BB or tapping by using NFC. No phone number, no PIN, no nothing. And if you only know a person's number, then invite them to BBM that way. You can invite them by email too. I'm confused how people are confused. ?

LegacySP1

If as the the article indicates Group Chat doesn't facilitate video sharing that's a potential issue . Speaking from a personal point of view the way most of my friends engage in a group chat they would share images and funny videos as well...

Posted via CB10

Jimmy Choo1

The only reason why whatsapp is ahead is because it was cross platform these few years where ppl slowly abandoned blackberry. Everybody knows bbm is much more superior and that's where everyone heart is. Can't wait til everyone comes back and that will happen!

Posted via CB10

Thesmartmale

You forgot to mention "recent updates" in BBM

Posted via CB10

dypkny

90 bbm emoticons? I'm counting 78

Posted via CB10

morphius_z

Yes.. and... Stupid little things like emoticons will actually affect adoption. People like the little things. If they didn't, they wouldn't be everywhere..

It's the little touches that can make or break it when comparing things. Especially when trying to pull people in.

Posted via CB10

GEO1ER

+1 I agree even something as small as emoticons will discourage people from switching.

Posted via CB10

Simon Sage

18 emoticons per page, times 5 pages = 90. 

Protocol 2001

Too bad BBM seriously lags in comparison to iMessage though.

Would be nice if the BB Hub autodetected contacts who also use BBM and default text messages through BBM (even if you don't have their PIN). Of course, Apple gives the option to turn off the "auto-detect" feature which BBM should do too if it rolls out a similar functionality so users can have privacy in that way.

snowsquirrel

In what way does it 'seriously lag behind'? Read notifications suck in iMessage, regularly take forever to deliver, and if you forget to deactivate, whoever buys your phone gets your messages.

I could see that someone could prefer iMessage, but saying that BBM seriously lags, is just trolling... uh I guess I am the only idiot who fell for it though.

Protocol 2001

Fair comment, perhaps "seriously lags" is a bit harsh. But the auto-detect feature would be a significant further improvement :)

toppatoptobz

Using a pin number V.S using your phone number is day and night! For Thous who don't know! Once they are deleted off anyone pin there is no way you will ever have to here from there sorry A** again lol.... Non like whatsapp where you are link to a phone number so even after your deleted somone sorry A** they can still SMS... you . Oh man!!! Even worst if they change there number now some stranger will pop up in your list Not good!!!!!!. Oh yeah now days more and more girls are faster to give out there. Pin number then there phone number! Just say... lol...

Posted via CB10

daves_25

What about Skype? Shouldn't it be in this comparison?

Posted via CB10

MHI99IN5

U can send any file from whatsapp aswell even when bbm says the file is to big whatsapp will send it still bbm 4 me tho

Posted via CB10

snowsquirrel

iPods! This is the #1 reason for me. WhatsApp missed out big by blocking out iPods. iPods are the reason that other chat apps are still around. My kids all use Kik with their friends because they are on iPods; they have never heard of WhatsApp. When BBM for iOS finally launches, they will install, just so I can get a hold of them.

morphius_z

Except sometimes people only mention it coming for iPhone.. the ipods could still be left out unless someone can confirm otherwise?

Posted via CB10

snowsquirrel

Not going to go look it up, but the initial announcement explicitly listed iPods. I know because I gleaned the announcements to make sure before I got excited.

Whether or not they ditched the iPod in order to meet their deadline remains to be seen I guess.

markus_13

BBM is the better messaging service. Will I get rid of Whatsapp? To early to tell and definitely nobody knows.

I have people who I know are excited about it but the truth is I have to bite my tongue before talking about it because I don't know when it will come. Once it does arrive though I feel it can spread like wildfire amongst my friends as it was the only thing we ever used before

Posted via Z10

zefreaky

I didn't read thru all the comments, but it seemed to me that some have forgotten that Whatsapp is payent after a year (except for iOS users). And in some countries you can't use your credit card for transactions "outside the country" primarily 3rd world countries!
i know I have 4 months left on my whatsapp and i'm not upgrading, who needs to talk to me will know I'm in BBM! XD

zefreaky

ohh! when you "block" someone on Whatsapp they still keep your phone number and still can see your profil picture and status updates! While when you block them on BBM they're gone forever!

byrdbrained

Whatsapp is free on my bb for as long as I've had it - and definitely more than a year.

zefreaky

How come? You changed phone number? Because mine says 4 months of service left, I'll have to pay 0,89€ if I want to still use it

3Dee

So why would I switch to BBM from Google Hangouts?

narci

What is google hangouts?

triplekia

I can say with confidence that it won't affect whatsapp in Indonesia because most people will have them in their Android/iPhone, instead, the only thing that will be affected is BlackBerry hardware sales.

Posted via CB10

FastLane228

if my family or friends don't download bbm, when I see them I'm just going to superman dive on them..lol

BBM CHANNEL C000EF854 < bbry stocks*C0004ABC9

Turnda643

BBM for me. It's 1 reason I stay with BlackBerry. Use the tool I've been given. And I already have many family and friends ready to go BBM X platform.

Subscribe to Tri County Catering and Party Idea Channel. Pin #C00123065

jfunds

BBM is wayyyyyyyyyy better!

Posted via CB10

danjv1

Can't wait for BBM cross platform so I can get rid of all others (wzapp,skype,gvoice, and god knows what else)..
Hurry only have 3 months left on my free wzapp year, lol...

Stephen Cooper

If BBM has 600 hidden emoticons, why wouldn't BlackBerry unlock them?

Posted via the Super BlackBerry Z10

gnirkatto

Broadcast messages to multiple users, without having to create a group. One of the biggest advantages of bbm over Whatsapp, was not even mentioned in this comparison.

Posted via CB10

raphok

No windows phone
No symbian
No s40

So, "cross platform"?

tomsobon

no one will use BBM, it's too late guys, i mean for f--- sake, I'M NOT EVEN USING IT ANYMORE
And I HAVE A Q10!!!!!!!

Savior4Life

can't remember when the last time I used it either on my Z10, prob 3-4 months.

kgbbz10

Well since you don't use it then maybe I should stop using it to. I mean u must b popular w a head that big and we all want to be like the popular kids.
I love my BBM and I can't wait for it to go cross platform.

Posted via CB10

dguy123

I'm guessing you don't use it because no one else you know has access.
That's the point of going cross platform... to change all that.

I mean why wouldn't you use the better messaging app when it goes cross platform? For free too.

Posted via CB10

ofutur

Too bad the bbm emoticons are so boring... they should introduce animated stickers sets, like on Facebook or at least have the ones from Skype

Sent from my Z30/3

amccray5

Great article! Now it's time for BlackBerry to execute.

Posted via CB10

III 4U2NV III

I doubt my friends will jump from WhatsApp to BBM and would be shocked if they do. I recruited a bunch of them to KIK a couple years ago, then to WhatsApp which I had to struggle to get a few people on. Some never made it to WhatsApp and reverted to text. If BBM gets adopted great, but I will settle with wherever majority of my friends use. I don't even use BBM at all.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerrari

Where's the D and R argument vs. two useless checkmarks??

Posted via CB10

xfolgado

Like a PlayBook owner seems a joke

Posted via CB10

Savior4Life

Regardless of who trumps who at these comparisons, I don't believe there will be enough desire from the community of consumers that own other devices to download an IM and create a profile just to convince others to download it to do what most incorporated IM's (iMessage, Google Talk, etc.) already do well. There's just not enough to entice people to download it, but we'll see...

Savior4Life

Does Whatsapp support animated avatars like BBM...?

CJH_

Be interesting to know all the codes for the 600+ BBM emoticons. Anyone know?

Phaethonas

also BBM can be linked to applications( BlackBerry devices)

Posted via CB10

Pdoody

We shouldn't forget about all the former BlackBerry users that already know BBM. They will likely switch in a flash.

Also, I went to download whatsap and stopped the minute I realized that they would scan all my contacts numbers. It seems like a recipe for disaster for many people.

Posted via CB10

BB_Bmore

Disaster how? For who? Your worried about whatsapp doing bad things with your contacts info? Like the nsa? I don't know if you thought it out but let's say that you have friends who use whatsapp and you are in their contacts, boom big bad whatsapp still has your contact info and you never downloaded it. If you want true security nowadays you must go off the grid completely. So you saved your friends info from whatsapp but who saved yours?

mobilesync

The title of this article is ridiculous.

jic999

Great Post Simon , nothing beats a 101 APP discussion and comparison , ...BBM wins

bendiep1991

I found this battle to be pretty bias! But I agree BBM is better!

prescott19

Technically BBM is not cross platform until it's released for iOS and Android. Still in testing...technically not cross platform yet.

;)

Straight from the Z10 in my hands.

R Field

BBM is better. No contest. Now its just a question of adoption on other platforms.

FernCommodari

Entering your same BlackBerry ID on a new device transfers your contscts.

Posted via CB10

wtz11

How can you compare BBM cross-platform to anything, when it doesn't even exist?

Posted via CB10

kgbbz10

It exists, why do u think it doesn't? Because it's not out yet? That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Someone somewhere is using it now. It's not like God, ppl can actually see this.

Posted via CB10

fast666

Well said. Compare it when it is actually available, hopefully in 2013.

ChannelX C000D3759 We review channels

myckle

I hope cross-platform BBM generates an identifiable PIN different from BlackBerry Devices. Example: their PINS should start with a letter instead of a number of something.

Posted via CB10

mmoosa

Theirs will be 8 characters long whereas BlackBerry devices are 6 characters.

Via CB10 -- Subscribe to Beautiful Destinations C00122BD4

Pardon

People won't change, just because BlackBerry want them to, I use wechat a lot and I can't see people changing to BBM

Posted via CB10

HectorBusyBee

Sounds great. But most people are like "What's BBM? Oh, everyone I know uses WhatsApp" and with other fun apps like SnapChat, whether they're cross-platform or, BBM is kinda not even on their radar since they'll just say "everyone I know has an iPhone. I don't need that."

Posted via BlackBerry Z10

fast666

I have come to this conclusion that BlackBerry management is full of lazy cottage loving execs. They will delay everything at all critical times. BBMforall or channels for BlackBerry will come sooooooon. Stay tuned for ever.

ChannelX C000D3759 We review channels

Xopher

I chat with so many people, from close friends to others I have met online. The idea of giving out my phone number to everyone bothers me, so I haven't kept WhatsApp. There are plenty of other chat platforms that feel more secure, and I use those.

I do think that the way BBM is set up will appeal to a lot of people. Just look at the number of fake BBM clients that have shown up in Google Play, and the number of downloads they've received.

Posted via CB10

takeo

I enjoyed this article, even though not telling me anything new, but I still have the biggest question here:

I own 3 phones - Q10, iPhone, HTC.

If I get bbm for iPhone and HTC and login with my BBID, what will happen???

On a BlackBerry it would "move" my identity to the new PIN and device while retaining the contact list.

Do I have to sign up for two additional BBID to avoid this to happen? Can I choose? Will I keep my contacts and can add another PIN?

Anyone who knows, please tell - Kevin???

Thanks :)

Posted via CB10

GEO1ER

Wow it's going to be hard selling BBM to my friends with no location, file or video upload to BBM Groups. There's already an issue with the fact that WhatsApp recently got voice notes right on the application. They keep asking me if BBM will have that add to that the fact that the BBM app for iPhone and Android is going to be bare bones with only some of the options currently on BBM for BlackBerry, not being able to upload location is going to discourage them from wanting to switch from WhatsApp to BBM. BlackBerry really needs to get it together and out out a complete app that has everything the BlackBerry version has for Android and iPhone as well as all the trinkets currently on WhatsApp if they want to get people to switch. And they have to come out with a version like that straight out the box or they are going to fail horribly! Smh...

Posted via CB10

nt300

I've used most messaging services, and by far BBM tops them all. From kik to Whatsapp, BBM blows away the competition. It will do just fine and most likely grow its market by taking people off other services,

GEO1ER

I love BBM too and am rooting for it. I too have used WhatsApp and Kik. Everyone keeps saying BBM blows them away but I want to know how? How does BBM blow them away. Honestly... no one cares enough about security, people want pretty and they want options! all the security in the world didn't save legacy BlackBerry phones when iPhone came out!

Posted via CB10

Ekobah

I'm ready. I already told all my peeps when it comes out to get it. Tired of using 20th century technology: text. And I refuse to use what's app. Ya that's right I'm the snob.

Posted via CB10

E-MAN89

There's stoll a lot that needs to be added to BBM to make it effective and yo make people want to switch over. Like: ability yo mute conversations and groups, add pictures yo the actual conversation in in the group chat; not just post it on the group profile, and the ability for "like" people's responses... and a few more.

Posted via CB10

GEO1ER

I agree with you 100%. I hope I can convince my friends to switch from WhatsApp but I honestly don't think it's going to work. This is the problem with BlackBerry what don't they understand. You have to put out a product at the minimum that can compete. Smh...

Posted via CB10

quizm

Unfortunately BBM is very late. It is BlackBerry's biggest problem to deliver on time. Sign up to BBM will take more time and may not be worth it. Dethroning what's app is difficult now unless live video comes immediately or something very unique is offered. Why not have the option of using a telephone number as a pin?

Posted via CB10

AnotherBillJ

IMO, BBM clearly is the winner in this duel. I also believe releasing BBM cross-platform was BRILLIANT! My reason? BBM Channels. Once everyone on the planet has access to BBM, BlackBerry will start pushing BBM Channels like never before. BBM Channels allows users to follow each other and post messages along the way. There's another little app called Twitter that already does that and it's kinda big, so to go after that head-on is a great idea.

Cheers. :)

#IchooseBlackBerry10

byrdbrained

I think BBM is the superior IM, but I won't be ditching whatsapp when it lands on iOS and Android - there will still be many of my friends who will use it no matter what we BlackBerry faithful do to try to convert them. The one thing I can't stand is "dumbphones" and SMS. Anyone who send me a text is not getting answered for days...if at all!

jcarlos100

BBM all day!

Posted via CB10

rdchabs

I hate the fact that once someone, anyone saves your number they can see you if you are on Whatsapp and when you got stalkers, you are in trouble.

Posted via CB10

kraidx

What is the code to unlock emotions on BBM

Posted via CB10

asifj

Hope BBM adds video sharing feature to group chat. :)

Posted via CB10

rdchabs

*PS_ I love BBM but hate the fact that sometimes i have to switch to Whatsapp when I've to send long texts or forward a long email. Whatsapp is also faster when sending or receiving audio or video files and can send bigger audio files than BBM.
Sometimes i feel like BlackBerry is very slow to respond to feature requests :(

Posted via CB10

Xano

WhatsApp does all the work for you!
BBM ... mmmm adding +1000 pins (if they have it) manually?
I dont think so.

diogoteixeira87

BBM does the work too. But in fact, it just suggests to you who add instead of make you visible for everyone (even who you don't wanna chat) like WhatsApp.

Posted via CB10

diann23

I hope it's not too late. Right now I use whatsapp more than bbm

Posted via CB10

JRF_1986

I personally prefer BBM

Posted via CB10

beantownwindsorite

BBM does not have cross platform video, so that whole section should be removed. The only way BBM will be a success is if video and screen share are added ASAP.

Posted from BlackBerry Z10

beantownwindsorite

BBM cross platform, I meant.

Posted from BlackBerry Z10

ganjaman420

Blackberry should market BBM as a revolutionary 64-bit cross platform messaging app or an Ultraelectromagnetic app with retina display. They must join the wagon of companies marketing for tech's sake!

Douken

I think they will start very basic on other platforms giving a negative impact on reviews and not showing the real capabilities.

On a note. You can share music on Whatsapp. And tin BBM it shows what you're listening to not only for the native music player but it also works with Neutron Music Player and it tells people if you're looking at some YouTube video won't say which though.

Marketing is everything

BB_Bmore

Can it show what you are listening to on Android and iPhone? Probably not. Coming soon will be the death of blackberry so sad.

kredentis

BBM! The best

Posted via CB10

shokoy

Definitely BBM wins!!!

Posted via CB10

Estevezz

Top little too late. BBM will not have full functionality in the beginning which is so typical for BlackBerry. Even if I convince my friends on Android & iPhones to give it a try, there will be confusion with Pins, they will have to register etc. and in the end there will be only half of options available as what Whatsapp has - so why even try? Missing full functionality will throw lots of ppl off even if final product is superb - but it will be too late then...

Posted via CB10

slam54

BBM should increase the file size that you can send :| that's the only thing I find annoying

Posted via CB10

ksantor

Maybe someone already said that, but the major problem for BBM, is that, just like in many cases, majority of people don't give a **it about something new, they just stick to what they are satisfied with, even if this "something new" is better.

Posted via CB10

Winston Loh

Cool head-to-head.... thanks !

BB_Bmore

The problem is without these features here now, many iOS and Android users won't download bbm off of a promise of what's to come. The updates need to get out quick and in a hurry.

Himanshu Mehta

Compare some good against BlackBerry, whatsapp has no such standard as BlackBerry has.

Once cross platform people shall forget what was app ;)

Posted via CB10

UnlimiteD3k

Few inaccuracies from my brief read

In whatsapl, the favorite tab is actually the whatsapp users not people you tag as favorite.

BBM definitely has contacts sorting by whatever category you define.
Pull down from the contacts screen for the sorting filters

Posted via CB10

mychriz8

Maybe I can force all of my friends to come to BBM. I will delete WhatsApp and will look what happens :)

BBnose1

Wish BBM get a push to record speech function

Posted via CB10

nevertoofar

BBM is much better than WhatsApp, no doubts!

Posted via CB10

paul collins2

BBM will always win don't care what anyone says :)

Posted via CB10

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