BlackBerry Ltd to offer free calls via BBM in 2014

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) seems to be trying hard to make its BBM the leading smartphone messaging app. In fact, it’s going be more than just a messaging app. The Canadian company has already launched BBM for Android and iOS. Recently, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) signed a deal with LG Electronics to pre-load BBM on the Korean company’s smartphones.

BlackBerry’s exciting new features for BBM

Yesterday BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced that it’s going to bring some exciting new features to BBM for Android and iOS next year. The biggest of the four upcoming breakthrough features on BBM is the free voice calling. The BBM Voice feature will let users make free voice calls to any of their BBM contacts around the world. The Android and iOS users with BBM will no longer have to pay long (or even short) distance charges.

BBM Channels will be a chat room-like feature. There will be a number of channels based on the topics of hobbies, consumer brands and interests. You can use BBM Channels to join conversations with people who share your interests. Users can also create a new conversation in Channels. Another feature is quick and easy sharing of your location, personal multimedia, voice notes and photos. The location sharing option will have a timer. BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) said you can share your location with any of your contacts for a limited time. Your location will go private again after the time runs out.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) said BBM will have 100 new emoticons in all, and most of them have been recommended by BBM users. The company said all of these features are currently in beta testing. The new features will be available on Android, iOS and BB10 before February 2014.

BlackBerry tries to turn things around with BBM

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is going through a challenging phase. Its new smartphones have been nothing more than duds. The company is struggling to survive after an acquisition plan by its largest shareholder Fairfax Financial failed. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has raised $1 billion through convertible debentures. Many of the company’s top executives have left. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) reported far weaker results than expected this morning.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares rose 3.14% yesterday to close the session at $6.25, but they plummeted in premarket trading after this morning’s earnings report.

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