For users of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) but not BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) handsets the wait to rectify this impossibility is finally over as BlackBerry has finally released its popular messenger application. Well, that is they’ve released it for users of the App Store….in New Zealand.
In a week that has seen BlackBerry announce layoffs of 4,500 employees and an operating loss of nearly $1 billion for Q2 2014, the Canadian company needs a bit of relief. Unfortunately, for BlackBerry many thing it will be just that, little relief.
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The release of BBM to iOS and Android users is at best too little too late. Sure there are millions who love the program including myself, but the fact is I already have two cross-platform, feature rich messaging apps and don’t know that I will add another despite my familiarity with the iconic messaging app.
WhatsApp, Line, Viber, and others already fill this need for tens of millions of users worldwide.
Never mind the delays, it is finally here and BBM for Android and iOS is completely free. It supports all Android-powered smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and above, and iPhones running iOS 6 and above.
It’s features include everything you’ve come to expect from the program: traditional instant messaging, group chat for up to 30 people, and user profiles.
In order to use the app, you will need to signup for a BlackBerry ID, which will only take a few minutes. Signup is done through the app once its installed. For those concerned about privacy, you’ll be happy to hear that BlackBerry will assign you a PIN and you will not need to disclose your phone number or email to anyone in order to begin messaging.
For millions, the app will be a matter of nostalgia. There are a large number of Android and iPhone users who have owned a BlackBerry at one time or another.
Once again, I’ve not read a single report that suggests that BBM will rescue BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), however, it’s nice they decided to throw a life preserver to those who love the app years after they jumped BlackBerry’s sinking ship.
Update: BBM for iPhone in Australia goes live.
— BBM (@BBM) September 21, 2013
Update: BBM for Android users is just moments away.
— BBM (@BBM) September 21, 2013
Update: Here’s how the BBM for iPhone looks like.
More Updates: A message from BlackBerry official blog on BBM updates.
Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.
We know you’re waiting. Pausing #BBM4All rollout to fix issues caused by unreleased BBM for Android app. Read more: http://t.co/rKCN4BNNXo
— BBM (@BBM) September 22, 2013
Here are the download links: BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone.
Sheeraz Raza has contributed to this article, if you have any questions – contact him at @SheerazRaza.