Since joining BlackBerry back in May of 2014, Matthew Talbot, Senior Vice President Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, has been in charge of the monetization and growth of BBM for BlackBerry. Every few months he heads to the Inside BlackBerry blog to offer some updates on how things are working out in the BBM department and in his most recent post, he notes July was one of the strongest months on record for BBM growth thanks to recent updates for Android, summer holidays, and strong word-of-mouth.
BBM User Growth
Indeed, July was one of our strongest months on record for BBM growth. This was driven by the release of BBM 2.9 with its Material Design enhancements for Android users, summer holidays, and strong word-of-mouth.
Stickers aren't just kid's stuff anymore. More than 30 million stickers are sent every day over BBM, and more than 450 free and paid sticker packs reside in the BBM Shop these days.
We have also launched several very successful brand-sponsored sticker campaigns, with the most recent by Rakuten generating over 35 million impressions in Indonesia alone over two weeks, and driving over 750,000 clicks to our partner's website using our unique promotional sticker product — stickers with embedded and customizable links. We also held a sticker contest in Indonesia and received thousands of submissions from talented artists.
Do you have a specific request of something you'd like to see in a sticker pack? Do you have some sticker ideas you'd like to develop? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
We continue to record new milestones on our ad business. July was no different as we saw a strong growth trajectory through the month, despite the lull created by the summer holidays. Marquee advertisers included the New York Times, TD Bank, Mint, Samsung, Smartfren (devices), Traveloca (travel), RedMart (retail) and Manulife (insurance).
We also recently began offering video ads in BBM. The first set of video advertisers include the likes of King.com, OLX and Studio M Hotel. Video ads provide a great opportunity to drive higher revenues, while also exposing BBM users to newer exciting content on our platform.
BBM Payments in Indonesia
BBM users in this country of 250 million will soon have 3 ways to pay securely. Besides the coming PayPal integration, there is instant mobile payments via BBM Money and the option to send prepaid mobile credit to sellers or friends and family. We see a great demand for mobile payments among our users. In Indonesia, bank transfers remain the predominant way to pay online by far. No wonder that during a recent e-commerce campaign we ran in the country, the merchants involved told us that BBM Money outperformed bank transfers and all other methods of payment except credit card, in terms of helping convert prospective customers to actual sales.
How BlackBerry can monetize BBM has been on the minds of many for years now, so it's always great to see BlackBerry offer some updates on how things are working out, especially after BlackBerry's Q1 2016 results where John Chen noted 'BBM has taken a little longer to contribute' in terms of monetization for the platform but didn't expect it to affect their $500M target for software-only revenue. Also, 30 million stickers sent each day? And yet some folks say stickers have no place on BBM. That's a lot of stickers.
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AT&T customers have been receiving warnings from the carrier saying that their phones will soon stop making calls. That's technically true, but the network change isn't coming until 2022. Here's what you need to know about the transition to VoLTE (HD Voice) on AT&T.