BlackBerry BBM Meetings was once seen as a tool that could add additional revenue to the Canadian firm. But now, the company has decided to end support for this group messaging feature. In a blog post, BlackBerry stated that it will discontinue the BBM Meetings service beginning Feb. 10.
BBM Meetings – not making enough money?
The Canadian smartphone maker announced this collaboration add-on in November 2014 at a monthly charge of C$13.75 per month. The BBM Meeting app allowed users to schedule and hold meetings with a maximum of 25 participants from any device, be it BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Windows PC or Mac.
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BlackBerry did not cite the exact reasons for shutting down the service, but CEO John Chen had previously informed investors that he wants the software division to generate revenue worth $500 million by the end of fiscal 2016. It may be assumed that this service was not generating reasonably enough income for the Canadian firm.
BlackBerry refers users to another vendor
“For customers using the service, and who wish to continue to use a mobile-first web conferencing solution, BlackBerry is pleased to facilitate a direct relationship with our preferred partner and vendor, Zoom Communications,” the Canadian firm said in a blog post.
BlackBerry further said that on establishing a direct connection with Zoom Communications, users will be able to make use of a comparable web conferencing solution that is effective and cost-efficient as well. The Canadian firm is offering the customers an option to convert to the Zoom web conferencing solution or any other vendor of their choice over a transition period of 10 weeks.
Transitioning to Zoom from BBM Meetings could be a good experience for customers as they will receive a few upgrades that will surely benefit them. They will be able to host meetings with as many as 50 participants, and the quality of the video and audio conferencing will be really high. They will get screen-sharing as well and will be able to make use of the Video Breakout Rooms.
Zoom Communications, which is based in California, charges US$14.99 monthly for its conferencing solution. The yearly cost for users who sign up by Dec. 31 will be reduced to US$135 as they will be eligible for a 10% discount offered jointly by BlackBerry and Zoom.