If you are reading this you will know exactly what BBM is. Today the term short for BlackBerry Messenger has officially entered modern day vernacular, with the announcement that it is to be included in the latest edition of the Collins English Dictionary - yay!
The inclusion reflects the BBM service's extraordinary global popularity. From its humble origins as a business messaging tool, BBM is today used by over 56 million people worldwide, with 70% of customers ‘BBMing' on a daily basis to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. In South Africa alone, over 98% of BlackBerry® customers use the BBM application.
The announcement from Collins reinforces a myriad of recent cultural references to ‘BBM', most recently from Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. Moments after winning the 100m Olympic gold at London 2012, the world record holder gave a live television interview where he said: "All I gotta do is thank a few people on my BBM with my congrats and that's pretty much it". Music artists such as Tinie Tempah and Sean Kingston have both mentioned BBM in their respective songs ‘Miami to Ibiza' and the aptly titled, ‘BBM'.
T.A. McCann, Vice President, BBM and Social Communities at BlackBerry maker RIM, commented: "The inclusion of BBM in the Collins English dictionary recognizes its status as one of the world's most popular mobile social networks. In recent years, the term ‘BBM' has transcended its technological origins to become a brand that is part of the everyday language of millions of people all over the world. The service itself continues to evolve, with ‘BBMers' able to share content, create groups and even post status updates to other social networking sites such as Facebook® and Twitter® directly from the BBM app. We're honoured that a word used daily by millions of our customers has been officially welcomed into the English language."
I have a suspicion that BBM may well be used even more widely next year once BlackBerry 10 is out and taking over the world!