When a BBM channel crosses 1 million subscribers, this nerdery is what you get

By Derek Kessler on 8 May 2014 12:35 pm EDT

The BBM Channel on BBM Channels (how meta is that?) has crossed the one million subscriber count. Now, you might have been expecting that when the million subscriber mark was crossed that the counter would merely tack on an extra digit and a comma.

Well you are so very wrong. Nope, BBM Channels switches to using scientific notation once you reach this point. Because why not? Technically what we're seeing here is E notation, with the "e+" standing in for the 10x that would be displayed here if this were a handheld calculator.

But it's not. It's a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, with more than enough room to display all the digits of 1,008,300. Especially since writing it out as 1.0083e+06 takes up more space than just writing it out. But once a BBM channel passes 1e+22 subscribers (that'd be 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or ten billion trillion — approximately 1.4 trillion times the current population of the planet Earth, and many more times that the population of BBM users), switching to scientific notation will make perfect sense.

Thanks to Wilder for the highly amusing tip!



Very funny, maybe BBM didn't expect a channel to have more than a million users? They will surely fix that in a next update


I sure hope they were expecting over a million subscribers


Yes, I was just kidding, but they have doubled their subscribers in Twitter


No they should keep it. It has personality, in a sense.

Posted from my BlackBerry Q10 on AT&T


I am part of this nerdery. (and I love it!) Was there a prize for the 1.0e+6 subscriber?

David Tyler

"Like" to the sheer nerdery of using "e" notation (although "d" would have been too cool for school).

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Iggy City

I'm sure lots of people will think it's just a glitch haha.


You should give a prize to your first ever subscriber.

Posted via CB10


I chuckled when I saw that too. I don't think they should fix that bug just yet.


If it's a bug, I'm sure they'll fix it soon. If it's a "haha", I hope they change it to a normal count because most people like me would have no idea what that means! :D


No but seriously Derek...what does this mean for the health of this company though?


Posted via CB10


Thankyou Derek. Took the letters right outta my keyboard. :D


Why are Crackberry allowing your articles to be posted on their site if that is your viewpoint on BB?


All Mobile Nations bloggers are reporting news to any Mobile Nations website now, so they can work around the clock and have fresh stuff.

Most editorials are from 'real' CB members though, which is good because I don't think Derek would make a very good job cheering us up! You know, he experienced defeat himself... poor WebOS! ;)

Posted via CB10 with my BlackBerry Q5


That's amazing!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Gord Cluthe

That is +1.0083e06 amounts of awesome!!


Channels are great it's all the garbage which is posted afterwards, like add my pin I'm hawt or u b chillin wit me cuz u da bomb...
Pure garbage most comments are.

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Ever used Facebook? Same thing.

Derek Kessler

I don't know what Facebook you're using, but mine's nothing like that.


Get real Derek! Look up online about all the junk posting in comments.

 Slicing using my 


No, for real. Clean up your friends list maybe?

Posted via CB10


Every damn post BB makes to their FB page is filled with PIN request comments or dorks posting tech support questions.


Maybe BlackBerry is expecting a growth spurt. :)

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I like the scientific numbers ! Gives a personality to BBM Channel

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I see it more like an easter egg type of thing. I don't think they should change it. It's fun!

Nifty Foods! C003262E5


Kind of like Google's bids for the Nortel patents, they were just having a bit of fun with the numbers. So, why the snide tone with every article you write here Derek? Are you click baiting CrackBerry? Could you go away and write somewhere else if that's the case or else I'll just skip over your articles in future. No probs.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10


I am almost there.. for now the count on my channel hits a booming 25 people.. soon I will have the number displayed with the scientific formula lol

Posted via CB10


Love it!!!!!! Exponential notation FTW! I see it on all of my essential computing software and this is definitely a plus for me! Lol

Posted from my BlackBerry Q10 on AT&T


When did Stephen colbert start writing for crackberry


C'mon guy's n girls, we know this number cannot be true. Nobody uses a BlackBerry anymore let alone BBM. :p.



Posted with my gorgeous Z30


lol Derek

So nice to see you ranting on CB!


Well when you see the "+e" and your not smart enough to know what it means......then associate it with this......."lots man......like way more than I can count Dude"

Posted via CB10


"Well when you see the "+e" and your not smart enough......"

On the subject of being smart, should I point out your "your" instead of "you're" or should I just leave it?

I'll just leave it. ;)


Well, since you're just leaving it, I'll pick it up. That kind of irony, although hardly rare on the internet, is always funny.


+1.00961e+06 (current subscriber count for The BBM Channel)


Spell correct by BB......yes funny how that goes.

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Ready for the future where the whole galaxy uses bbm

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Yesterday my teen son explained to me what he was learning in science class about how big the universe is. That, coupled with this, is too much for me to take in; I'm glad Friday is just around the corner.

Cheers. :)


Majority of the people subscribed to the BBM channel are trolls and just post their own pins and begging girls to add their pins.

Posted via CB10


Tool, not toy.

Tool for getting laid.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB


I like it. It gives people a challenge to figure out the amount of subs the channel has.

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3


Nice! In typical BB10 fashion, confuse the heck out of the average consumer.....


I actually like it but in the greater scheme of things feel it is probably a bad idea. The average user will just think it is a glitch


more shocked on how fast that grew.. it was at 800 000 this week...


That is to scare IPhone users away..

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Usually people & brands use that number for measuring their popularity ( Obiusly) this is also use as engaging to be follow & get more fans, more trust = more probability of growing more..
But once again the marketing strategy of BB fails , becuase the first thing i think its they have a problem with the counter, also make me feel thats is something wrong. Interference with process of getting more fans, why confuse people?? I am not a nerd , bb its know by making our live easy... i still dont understand the formula, i guess i have to read again the post... and learn about it..

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Seems to display properly on BBOS devices. :)


...cool stuff, helpfully anticipated. Well done!

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Data usage when tethering also does this once you hot a gig.

Prem WatsApp

Yes, it's annoying. I'd like to see it spelled out in everyday numbers (more than enough space to display that)

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "


I laughed so hard, wait, no I didn't.

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Astro Boyzone

Hahahahahahah.. damn funny...

Posted via CB10 on my love Z30 with BlackBerry 10.

Karan Mohal

I prefer 'nerdality' ;)

Pete The Penguin

I hope BlackBerry don't fix it, using Scientific Notation is brilliant.


To me, the channel says that it has 553111 subscribers..

Posted via CB10


Oops some BlackBerry programmer didn't test the lower and upper bounds properly. Not at all surprising, their software has always been lazily written and badly tested.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.2


Same thing happens on the wifi hot spot data counter when you hit a gig, it displays in kb.

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I bet that glitch happened because of the employee who was tasked with it came from the the Microsoft Excel team.

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Haha awesome!

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)


Don't know why everyone's getting worked up? Good article.

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Erik Lehman

Channel comments in the large channels are terrible. It a just a bunch of Nigerians ball beating and spamming their pins. They really have to clean that up.