The arrival of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) on Android and iOS platforms kindled a good lot of excitement. Though earlier reports specified the availability date as June 27th, BlackBerry just announced that it has yet to decide on the launch date.
A recent tweet from T-Mobile said that BBM can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices from June 27th. BlackBerry responded saying that the date is inaccurate and it will convey the exact date after confirmation. In May, the company announced plans to expand its mobile social network to Android and iOS after receiving approval from Google Play and Apple App Store.
By opening BBM to rival platforms, BlackBerry intends to leverage the popularity of BBM at a time when mobile instant messaging is superseding SMS services. BBM’s importance is apparently vanishing as BlackBerry smartphones have failed to shine in the market in the face of tough competitors.
Despite BlackBerry’s plunging performance in recent years, BBM boasts over 60 million monthly users exchanging more than 10 billion messages per day. The 10-billion message count is higher than that on any other messaging service. After its update to BBM 7, the BlackBerry Messenger seemed to regain its fervor. BlackBerry’s latest OS, the BlackBerry 10 features a device management system namely, the BlackBerry Enterprise 10 to support other platforms.
The first version of BBM app on the Android and iOS platforms will allow instant messaging, voice note sharing, multi-person chats and BlackBerry Groups. It will compete with Whats App, Viber and other similar services and is likely to launch as a free app.
Analysts look at BBM’s cross-platform availability as a risky approach as BBM and the QWERTY keyboard are considered the unique features of BlackBerry phones. BlackBerry expects its approach to retain or augment the popularity of BBM.