An announcement was made today that fans of BlackBerry Messenger have been hoping for for years: a version of BBM is going to be introduced for devices running iOS and Android. This will allow far more people to use this very popular chatting service, for free.
“For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, Software Product Management and Ecosystem, at BlackBerry.
The first version for these platforms will support chats, including multi-person chats. BBM offers “D” and “R” statuses, which show up in chats to let people know with certainty that their message has been delivered and read. It provides customers with a high level of control and privacy, as invites are a two-way opt-in.
It will also include the ability to share photos and voice notes, and engage in BBM Groups, which allows users to create groups of up to 30 people.
A Popular Option
According to BlackBerry, BBM has more than 60 million monthly active customers, with more than 51 million people using BBM an average of 90 minutes per day. BBM users collectively send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day.
BBM service will be coming to devices running iOS6 and above as well as Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above. While it’s not clear whether a version formatted for tablets will be released, tablets should be able to use the smartphone one.
Exactly when the new versions of BBM will be introduced isn’t clear. As BlackBerry pointed out, while it plans to submit the software to Apple and Google this summer, it will depend on when these companies approve the apps before they can appear on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.