BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), the all-but-dead smartphone manufacturer, announced today that its one great product (BlackBerry Messenger) will remain free for the foreseeable future. For years, millions of Android and iPhone users knew they were using the better handsets but secretly envied BBM. That changed when BlackBerry offered the app to those who either left BlackBerry or simply never had one. While the company experienced numerous embarrassments with the roll-out, by the time it arrived the app was downloaded over ten million times in the first 24 hours over both platforms.

BlackBerry BBM

BBM to remain free

BBM Channels brings a social networking feature to BBM and is presently in beta testing. Channels will allow users to build a following and share content while allowing BlackBerry to target ads towards users more efficiently.

“We continue to plan to evolve the service and keep making it more engaging and have more reasons why people will come back to use the service,” said Bocking via CBC.

BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS

Video and voice chatting services for BBM, which are currently available to BlackBerry users only, are also coming soon to the Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android platforms “within months,” Bocking said.

BlackBerry’s revenue stream

The launch of BBM on competing platforms has brought mixed feelings from analysts. While it’s something that surely wont save the company, it could open new revenue streams that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) can point to when negotiating its near-inevitable takeover.

Six million people pre-registered for the app but there remains a queue for new users to enjoy the service that they’ve downloaded.

Source: CBC News.