For a company that's quickly cutting its workforce, there sure is a lot of news about BlackBerry this week. Aside from a new smartphone and upgrades to its operating system, BlackBerry has made another major announcement: BBM will now be available on both Android and iPhone.
BlackBerry told press that its messaging system would be reaching other platforms this past May, but the company has officially made the move now. Android users will be able to download BBM from the Play store this Saturday, and iPhone users will have access to BBM this Sunday.
Why Is BBM So Popular?
Since BlackBerry first arrived on the scene, the company's messaging system was touted as being the thing to beat about the platform. BBM allowed BlackBerry users to chat with each other without racking up SMS bills. That technology might not seem so mind-blowing now, but it was once the only technology of its kind.
Now, BBM has some competition from Apple, Facebook, and even apps like WhatsApp. So, why did BlackBerry wait until now to bring BBM to Android and iPhone? Basically, BlackBerry is trying everything possible to spread the word about the company's technology. Maybe, just maybe, if BlackBerry can prove that it has some valuable technology, iPhone and Android users might give the company a second glance.
On the Flip Side
Even though it might be seen as a good move for BlackBerry to offer BBM to iPhone and Android users, it can also be seen as a possible mistake. Exclusivity sells, and that's exactly why BlackBerry maintains the market share that it currently has. BlackBerry users stuck with the platform because BBM was exclusive.
Now that everyone will have access to BBM, BlackBerry's once exclusive technology might not be so special after all. It will be interesting to see which direction BBM takes the company in. On one hand, it would be great if BlackBerry can pick up some new users with the spread of BBM. On the other hand, it might make things less unique in the eyes of existing BlackBerry users. It is a double-edged sword, no doubt.
Using BBM On Your iPhone or Android Phone
BBM is free to use (half of the appeal), so that's certainly something to keep in mind when using this service. Plus, you'll be able to see what all the fuss has been about once you do check out BBM (if you do). Even though BlackBerry is sinking quickly as a company, the new smartphone that the company has just released coupled with this BBM move may bring relevance back to the company once again.
It's also possible, though, that BlackBerry is making all of these moves too late. Let's hope, for the sake of the company, that people like what BBM has to offer, and that prompts them to check out the company's newest phone. There's just one thing, though, BlackBerry, you have to start adding some better apps! Seriously, if BlackBerry had better apps, the company might stand a chance when it comes to survival, right?