Recently, BlackBerry Limited partner Emtek announced that it's shutting down BlackBerry Messenger. As of May 31, 2019, users will no longer be able to download or access the app. In response, BlackBerry announced plans to release its business-class BBM Enterprise app for individual use.

Not surprisingly, the whole situation has generated a bit of confusion. People aren't entirely clear on how the two messaging platforms differ from one another. It mostly comes down to the fact that BBMe was developed, first and foremost, as a business tool, and is a lot more streamlined by design.

While it retains many of the core features of BBM, there are a few key ways in which BBMe differs from its consumer cousin.

  • It's not ad-supported. BBMe will be free for the first year, then $2.49 USD every six months after that.
  • You need a BlackBerry ID to sign up. BBMe requires a brief signup process, rather than just a phone number and PIN.
  • It's got fewer bells and whistles. Stickers, games, BBM Channels, DiscoverTV, Uber, and chat backgrounds are all absent from BBMe.
  • it has light and dark themes. You can switch between the two in the settings menu.
  • It's much more secure. Because it was built for use in high-security industries, BBMe offers stronger encryption than BBM.
  • No screenshots allowed. While within the app, the screenshot function on your phone is disabled.
  • It's lightweight. BBMe requires very little battery power, with a lower footprint than consumer BBM.

You can download BBM Enterprise from Google Play or the iOS App Store., while desktop clients for Windows and Mac can be downloaded from the BlackBerry site.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.