The Blackberry Messenger (BBM) was originally the first big messaging app on smartphones. It came pre-installed on all Blackberry devices, and was a key sales proposition for business users as well as for many consumers. Basically 4-6 years ago the BBM had the success that Whatsapp, Line, Kakao Talk and WeChat have nowadays. Some 60-80 million people once regularly used the BBM. A week ago the BBM for iPhone and Android was finally launched.
Basic Messaging App Requiring A Blackberry ID
Generally, it is a fairly basic messaging app and similar to the popular apps out there. One difference is that it doesn’t connect users by syncing the address book contacts. BBM mainly works with the Blackberry ID, and thus is probably mainly for users with Blackberry friends. Since the Blackberry platform is on the decline though, the demand will probably be limited.
Digital Content Sharing And Design Need Improvement
In addition to simple chats, users can set up group chats. The groups are pretty much standard, except that you also can create events. So they are a bit like Facebook Groups. As digital content you can send voice (push-to-talk) messaging and photos. However, so far there are no videos or stickers. Besides things like calendar or contact sharing which would be compelling to business users of the BBM are missing.
The user interface is pretty straight forward, but they could have reduced and simplified the number of tabs. As well from a design perspective, there are definitely prettier messaging apps available.
The Messaging Market Is 2-3 Years Ahead
This iOS and Android version seems like a first launch effort and so far there is nothing groundbreaking. In comparison to the leading messaging apps the BBM looks a bit old. Apps like the new BBM were state-of-the-art in the market about 2-3 years ago. Now most apps move into better personalization, stronger self expression and advanced content sharing with games, music and much more to come. Overall, the launch of the BBM comes too late.