So BlackBerry have finally crumbled and revealed plans to make their BBM messaging service available to Android and iOS platforms – but have they made the right choice?
Software Vice President, Andrew Bocking, certainly thinks so at the latest developer’s conference. “The time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service. BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community.”
But with so many messaging apps out there, will they once again be a small fish in a big pond? BlackBerry has struggled to complete with the iPhone and Android market over the last few years. Their BBM was seen as an exclusive service, retaining loyal BlackBerry users who wanted to stay within the BBM community. By removing the exclusivity, have they now lost their unique selling point?
Chief executive Thorsten Heins called the move “a statement of confidence,” but I think it was more of a risky move to join the already saturated market of messaging apps.
My first Smartphone was a BlackBerry and BBM was used on a daily basis. However, since moving to iPhone, I would never make the switch back. What’s wrong with Whatsapp?! Most Smartphone users have established an app that works for them, so why change?
BlackBerry will need to work hard at targeting the new generation of mobile phones users, those who have not yet chosen what free messaging platform to use to communicate to their friends. I am not convinced this move is enough to save them.
The free app will be available Summer 2013.