May 14, 2013
For folks who cut their smartphone teeth with RIM BlackBerry devices, the PIN-driven BlackBerry Messenger invokes cool memories. It was — is — a fantastic messaging application that allowed users to communicate without having to give up stuff like email. It was the crown jewel of the BlackBerry ecosystem.
Since its heyday, things have changed. RIM’s fortunes changed significantly, and the company’s leadership underwent major churn. It recently launched its new BB10 OS, dropped the name RIM to become known as BlackBerry, and with BB10 came a souped-up, bionic BBM system with videochat and screenshare functionality that took a fantastic messaging service and blasted it into the stratosphere.
And now, today, at BlackBerry Live event in Orlando, it was announced that BBM will be coming to Android and iOS this summer.
It initially won’t be on par with the BB10 version. Features like video chat will be coming in the future. In a world dominated by services like Whatsapp, it’s tough to see any new cross-platform entrant doing major damage, but BBM comes with a formidable user base still.
BBM on Android: if you had asked me 4 or 5 years ago, I would have taken that bet. But hey, things change. In this case, the consumer wins. Long live BBM, and long live choice.