Business Today

BlackBerry Messenger for iOS, Android soon

A press note released by Samsung Electronics Africa said the app will be part of the Samsung Messaging Hub soon.

Nandagopal Rajan | August 12, 2013 | Updated 18:22 IST

BlackBerry is going to take a huge leap of faith in the next few weeks by releasing its best app, BlackBerry Messenger, for Android and iOS.

While BlackBerry is yet to give an official date for the same, a press note released by Samsung Electronics Africa said the app will be part of the Samsung Messaging Hub soon. It will be available through its app store for Galaxy devices in the near future.

Meanwhile, BBM for iOS and Android have been seeded out to some testers.

Annie Mathew, Director, Business Development and Alliances, BlackBerry India said she couldn't specify a date by which the service would start functioning cross-platform.

"The idea is to make BBM the preferred choice for chat across all devices. There has been a need for BBM to be able to talk to other device," she told Business Today.

BBM has over 61 million users globally sending over 10 billion messages a day. BBM is also among the most engaging of chat services with a high active user base.

While BBM is the preferred chat service for BlackBerry users with new features like voice and video chat, the company hopes others will start using it for its superior security features and immediacy.

"We hope to see old BBM users as well as new adopters who know the value proposition of our service," said Mathew.

BlackBerry will also start its BBM Channel that will allow brands to create pages that reach out to customers. The beta version of BBM running on BB10 offers multi-threaded comments, option of deleting comments as well as the ability to report spam. Plus, users will know somebody is at work and cannot be disturbed.

However, it has to be said that BlackBerry is late entrant with multi-platform since players such as WhatsApp, WeChat and Line are already claiming huge user bases.

While WhatsApp claims over 300 million users, the relatively new Line has just crossed the 200 million mark. WeChat, along Chinese sister product Weixin, is now installed on 27 per cent of the world's smartphones, compared to just 22 per cent for Facebook Messenger, Skype and Twitter.

A report by GlobalWebIndex gives WhatsApp a 17 per cent share. Weixin claims over 300 million registered users just in China.

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