BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s popular instant messaging service is now available for Windows Phone. Unfortunately, it’s currently in private beta mode. The availability date for all users is still unknown.
BlackBerry’s decline in the phone market
BlackBerry used to be one of the leading smartphone makers before Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android arrived to the market. As a result, the Canadian tech company was hit hard by declining market shares. BlackBerry responded with separate and specific niches to keep itself afloat. One of those niches happens to be the company’s instant messaging service BBM. This popular app offers both messaging and voice features. Just last year, BlackBerry launched the messenger for iOS and Android operating systems. At the end of last year, that led to over 40 million registered users to the platform.
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It’s not surprising tech fans made requests for BBM to expand to Windows Phone and other platforms. BBM’s product and marketing chief Jeff Gadway addressed the requests earlier this year and said the Windows Phone version would arrive sometime this summer.
BlackBerry is paving the way for BBM public launch
The new app will be compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1, unfortunately users won’t be able to install it just yet. A representative for the company told CNET that they have been using the Windows Phone storefront to conduct a closed internal beta test BBM for Windows. They also hope to use the Windows Phone Store to make room for a broader external beta version in the upcoming weeks. This will be exclusive to users who were whitelisted to participate in the beta program. Information on that program will be featured on the official blog shortly.
BBM may be the saving grace for BlackBerry. The phone market has been tough on BlackBerry, but the popular messaging application still remains relevant to this day. Now that BBM is set to launch for Windows Phone, the company is ready to cement its position as a messenger service.