Why Do Blackberry Users Love BlackBerry Messenger?

I just don’t get what is so special about BlackBerry Messenger except it only works with BlackBerry Users. Despite being a technology junkie I have never been able to get into Blackberry Messenger. Considering how many people love this feature can someone shed some light on what is so good about Blackberry Messenger?

With SMS/MMS for sending short messages, pictures, video, or audio what can messenger add? SMS/MMS work on all mobile phone worldwide and are not limited to Blackberry devices. I agree with Blackberry Messenger you do not pay additional to send to users in other countries and it does not require you to have a text message plan. Is cost what makes people love BB Messenger?

Is the hook really for enterprise users? In a corporate environment I can do a GAL (Global Address List) lookup and get a users BlackBerry pin to start a conversation quickly. I agree the filtered list of users I can message with has its benefits. I have never used the broadcast message feature could that be part of the draw?

On the surface I cannot find a reason to use BB Messenger. With OS 5.0 the threaded format of SMS makes it look just like an IM conversation. Is it the ability to send your current location, files, or voice notes that makes Blackberry Messenger powerful? Maybe it is being able to ping a contact. What exactly does a ping do. I just sent a Ping to Robb without knowing. Hopefully it is not too bad. The location sharing option is going to come in handy when friends are trying to find our tailgate this coming NFL season. I used Assemble and Google Maps on the iPhone for location sharing, messenger will be a welcome add.

There has to be something magical in BlackBerry Messenger that is just passing right by me. Is it more then IM? I cannot think of a better group of people to explain why BB Messenger is worth caring about. Please someone help me see the light.


  1. Miguel Jimenez says

    one cool feature of bbm is the d and the r (delivered and read which u can’t see in sms or mms)

      • Miguel J says

        So u sent the ping to see if the person is available to chat or not and i think a cool feature which u mention is that u can talk to any blackberry anywhere in the world and not get charged for it and u can send big files on bbm also. I think it is 5megs now but i think they going to increase that i can’t remember but yea but I think the best thing for me is the D and R right there next to ur txt especially since I live in nyc so i know if u r in the train or something else is happening if i send u a msg and no d shows up for a long time then i know u prolly in the train so yea bbm is really cool and broadcast is really fun and the icons are cute and if u type *dr* or *pr* u will see the dominican republic flag and the pr flag they have tons of flags there u can try it but make sure u do it with a space

  2. Marc says

    I would have to agree. I’m not sure why BBM is such a big deal. I haven’t found any reason to use it. I don’t really have that many family or friends that are actually using Blackberry’s so maybe that’s why I don’t see a use for it.

    • Miguel J. says

      ohh yea i totally forgot about that u can send like 500 message to a person and when u get service it will go thur it will stay in queue unlike sms or mms they will fail and u need to wait until u get service so u can send it.

  3. Chippy says

    It’s SMS implemented the way it should have been. Sent/received notifications, a proper queue and a pricing scheme that isn’t ludicrous.

  4. Mari says

    I never knew how into BlackBerry Messenger I was until I switched from a BlackBerry Curve to an iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is a great device and I really liked it, but i used BBM so much that I really missed it. All of my friends are on BBM too so I was feeling a bit left out. I was on a family plan so i ended up giving my iPhone to my little brother and using my old Curve just so I could use BBM again. I know that is sad but it is the truth… If you don’t want to get addicted to it, don’t even start using it.

  5. Jim Riz says

    I like the fact that it tells you when people are writing back to you. You don’t know how I hate when I send something via sms and then following up with a second text only to find out that if I waited a min longer the recipient’s response you have made that second sms irrelevant. But how would I know if the other person was typing back to me and just wait. With BBM I know when they do so i don’t shoot a message till I see what they send me.

  6. says

    You are forgetting group chats, You can’t do that through SMS without paying HEFTY fees. Imaging chatting with 10 people in a conference through BBM.

    Also it works over Wifi. When I roam to save on data costs I disable data roaming and use wifi to keep in touch over BBM.

  7. Joe says

    It is not ONLY for messages between BB’s I have added both email and SMS users to my BB messenger and it works great. The messenger shows you below each entry if it is an email or SMS contact. If it is a PIN contact (another BB) then it is blank. Works great on all of these and it is faster to send off a quick SMS this way to people you text often.

  8. Terese says

    Many of my friends have a BB. If we are making plans as a group, instead of trying to find the right time to schedule a conference call or sending multiple emails. We will all join in a BBM conference and everyone can chime in instantly, everyone can view the responses, and we can confirm Saturday night plans within 5 minutes.

  9. FrankDLR1972 says

    Robb, you mention so many awesome things in your post, how can you not love it? Obviously you dont use it, but if you like being social, than there’s not much else that can beat it. At least I can’t think of anything that can. I just started using groups and although its a little slow compared to a one-on-one BBM chat, it totally rules when you want get things done with a group of people. Its just like a conference, but a permanent group and you can add calenders to the group, list & photos with comments. BBM is sooo feature rich, I can’t believe its all free! I love BBM and my wife does too. I’ve contemplated leaving to an Android device (i admit it..) but the draw of BBM is so powerful and my wife agrees. I wish they would fix the Facebook app to work as good as BBM.

  10. Keith says

    I think the cost thing is probably the #1 reason – we all love something for nothing. The features mentioned above are just gravy so we can justify being cheap ūüėČ

  11. Joe says

    This has been alluded to earlier, but the invaluable function is actually the “R” symbol — showing that my message has been read by the recipient. I get the “D” for my SMS texts, showing that the message was *delivered* to the recipient — but I have no idea if they ever opened their SMS to read my message. With BBM, when I see the “R” then I *know* they read the message. If I can change anything, I’d love to have BBM send/deliver messages while I’m using the phone. That’s where SMS has the advantage.

  12. Jonathan says

    For me it’s definitely the D & R because it makes me feel more as though I’m interacting with the person in real time. I can send a message and if i don’t get a D, I know that the person either doesn’t have their phone on (they’re on a plane or something) or they’re on the phone and don’t have 3g on a GSM network. So instead of wondering if my message has been delivered, I know pretty quickly what the deal is. Then, there’s the added bonus of seeing the the message has been read. It’s a much better deal than read receipts. Also, I can seen pictures and contact info to messenger contact an dI don’t have to concern myself with the character limit. I don’t see why two BlackBerry user would ever SMS each other when BBM does so much.

  13. Tim says

    Let’s see…group chats, the ability to send personal, business or all contact information which is automatically added to the users BB contact, 2D barcodes, availability notifications (you can set an alert when a user comes back from ‘Busy’), send location. All that on top of the cost effectiveness and other features (delivery receipts, cute emoticons, the ability to show what song/media you’re listening to). It’s like SMS or I’m but better, because it’s BlackBerry.

  14. GDubya says

    If you have a family scattered across the globe, BBM is great because there are no charges for chatting internationally. Try looking at your bill after having an SMS conversation with someone in a different country.

  15. Chris says

    Why Do Blackberry Users Love BlackBerry Messenger?
    Not all Blackberry Users love bmm. Just those Blackberry users who happen to have friends, and want to communicate with them.

    You can write out a feature list, then try and make up work around for accomplishing most of them using traditional sms. Seems a lot easier to just use a free built-in application that does it all.

  16. reg6 says

    BBM is free internationally whereas it’s costly (.50 per send on Verizon) to text. Calls on our “discounted” plan from Germany to USA – .99/min. so we Skype for calls and BBM for msg.s

  17. ja2bk says

    To put it simply, it is like sending a text without the cost (if you send int’l). As long as their phone is on, and they have reception, they will get the bbm message. Also, some folks opt to have data and no text. This allows one to basically do as texting does. Plus, you have the benefit of sending files such as pics or voice notes (or any file for that matter).

  18. BrianK says

    I wish I didnt like bbm so much. I use it exclusively with one other person. All the features already listed is what makes me love it so much. I really want to switch to the HTC Incredible but not sure I want to type on a virtual keyboard and not have my bbm. Seems very silly I know, but thats how much I love it and use it many times throughout the day.

  19. says

    Have not really started using BBM but i do use IM+ lite cause i can “continue” the chat either from blackberry for from desktop with Gtalk.

    But will try BBM soon

  20. Jesseee says

    im 13 yrs old and i have a blackberry, the thing about bbm is that its exclusive to bb users and other friends/people with out a bb feel left out. so i think its the exclusivity that appeals to people :) xxxxxx <3 xxxxx

  21. says

    There are shortcomings to all the various group text chat options including 3Jam except 1. The only group text chat option that does NOT require a web site, allows the CC: to be viewed and edited by each user, does not require creating group lists and does not involve special texting codes is Smashtalk. The good news is that Smashtalk is fully developed and ready for deployment. The sad news is that due to the lack of access to the SMS interface in EVERY vendor’s smartphones, the software requires special permission from each vendor.

    If you really want seamless group chat via text on your smartphone, please notify the carrier and vendor. They are aware of Smashtalk and do not think it is something their customers want. Want the name of the persons at your carrier or vendor to call, drop me a note from my web site and I will forward that info to you.

    You can have text messages with the Reply-All function that is equivalent to what you enjoy in e-mail. All it takes is telling your carriers and vendors you want it!

  22. ap says

    Wow, are you all Canadian and in love with RIM? I don’t understand why a chat program is so enticing to people. I’d hate it if people could tell if I read their text message. I’ll reply if I want to reply to you. If I don’t reply there’s probably a good reason for it.

    To me it seems that the ENTIRE ‘bonus’ of BBM is that it’s a social tool… That is atrocious. I’d much rather have the functionality of an Android/iPhone than have another version of facebook/twitter that only BB owners can use.

    Maybe it’s b/c I’m American, and I have sane mobile phone plans where I can opt for unlimited text messages, but I really do not see the draw of BBM. I figured that there would be something productive that BBM could do that would make my life more meaningful. All I’m gathering from these comments is…

    OMFG BBM rulex kthnxbai

    Seriously people… It’s a damn chat program, and not a reason to choose one smart phone over another. If the only reason you’re paying a crapton of money every month is for BBM, then I seriously suggest that you re-evaluate what you’re doing with your life.

    • Julia says

      I’m Canadian and have an Android and I agree with you!!
      BBM is the exact same as any other messaging service, with a few extra uneccessary little features that are all for being intensely social (which fine if you’re actually like that), and like the 13 year-old said previously, for the exclusivity. Which is ridiculous. It’s a phone, get over yourself.
      Free messaging is great, but frankly I’m fine with paying 20 bucks for 10000 texts a month. Which most BB users are paying too, because not everyone has BBM capabilities :)

  23. JakRabbit says

    All I see here is people comparing BBM to SMS. So it does things better than SMS at less cost, but why is it so addictive compared to say Skype or Yahoo Messenger, where you can do all those things too and more, with anyone who has a smartphone? Not just BB owners.

  24. Chris the Mortgage Broker says

    Odd for me to hear BBM is cult-ish. I would never have thought something limited to one smart-phone family would have caught on. Go figure…

    That being said, I really like Google Talk on my BB, which is an IM program that goes on any smart phone. I didn’t adopt BBM because I couldn’t IM people on their desktops AND phones whereas I could with GTalk. Plus, by getting others to use GTalk vs BBM, their smart phone choice was irrelevant.

    So now I hear that RIM is considering making BBM available on other platforms and I think RIM is nuts – why? And if BBM is a cult and people think they need two phones just to have BBM access, RIM, DON’T MESS WITH IT – you”’ destroy your golden goose! .

  25. Nyssa says

    ¬†I love BBM> I guess most people just have misinformation and are afraid of change. BBM draws people closer together. I can bring BBM anywhere. It’s true that it’s just like sending SMS but without international charges and the fact that you can send video or voice note or picture with it without extra charges is a BIG difference. For me, it’s also important that you can see when your message is delivered and when it is opened or read by the¬†receiver. Maybe in America or in other countries, it’s easy without that feature but here in Asia, IT IS IMPORTANT! Some of my SMS messages before on other phones where not delivered at all. Some would be delivered like hours delayed and I would have to call the person just to make sure he/she received my message.¬†

  26. Vicolivares says

    How do you go about finding users to chat with? Just looking for friendly chat without all the vulgar and nastiness on social sites. New friends are my option. 326e908f

  27. Jimmy says

    I don’t think BB Service is cheaper (expecially in Indonesia). The prize is expensive than internet data package. The biggest operator in Indonesia sometimes do maintenance the data in day time so BB user can’t do anything and all message not send. I think it do the same thing like im for text message. The funny things for many BB user here, they use BB not like smartphone. Just BBM only. Sometimes 3rd party apps draw additional charge too. That’s why they reject 3rd party apps I guess (or RIM tricks).

  28. Bruce says

    To be honest, the same goes for me, cant really see what’s so special about it? It kinda sounds more like Monkey see monkey do, so because everyone has one doesnt necessarly mean I should get one, kinda remninds me of that ideology where poop hats are in fation and everyone folowls it just because other are doing it lol

  29. says

    BBM is great and i just love it.. it’s a great article and let’s not forget that RIM started that instant msg systems on smart phones and they know their job.¬†

    I’m using it now with my unlocked Blackberry 9900 :)

  30. maw1026 says

    For all the uneducated people on here about how encryption works. ¬†BBM is the only mobile¬†protocol¬†that you can communicate across that is fully encrypted 100%. The message can be sent anywhere in the world and it is encrypted at the headset received by the BIS in whatever market they are in and then relayed to the receiving device. ¬†SMS,MMS¬†ill regardless of the device is sent via open message when can be intercepted. ¬†Everyone is so in love with iPhone and Android out of the two iPhone is way more secure. ¬†Android is a jank mobile OS that can be easily¬†exploited¬†and owned by people with¬†malicious¬†intent. ¬†The iPhone has security holes as well, that is why any person or corporate entity that has security as their primary number 1 goal still utilizes BlackBerry. ¬†I get sick of people talking crap about BlackBerry, their phones are stable and one of the most secured mobile OS’s. ¬†Most people do not know that the QNX OS that is coming in the future has a complete protected space for the Android Apps’s to run in on BB. ¬†This keeps the phone and TCP stack¬†completely¬†protected form being hacked, today no phone or OS does that at all. ¬†I have rambled to much here. ¬†Bottom line is,¬†I realize that Android and iPhone have their places but sometimes unless you know 100% what you are talking aout stop filling the internet with armed chair BS.

    Good Day.

    • Ste Crossley says

      That’s not entirely correct – don’t get me wrong, BB is deffinitely more secure than the other OS’s, and if that worries you, then yeah, go BB, but in all honesty I’ve never had a problem with my android phone, where as you’re comments almost make it sound like every android gets exploited the moment you first turn it on. Not true.

      Also, RIM were helping the Metropolitan Police by providing conversation logs during the London riots. Again, I’m not saying BB isn’t the most secure, but it’s not 100% secure. If it was 100% secure with some kinda infinite encryption, it wouldn’t have been possible for RIM to provide those logs.

      And finally, with regards to your comment about BB being able to use Android apps in an up and coming firmware – Yes, I was aware of this. However, have you seen the list of restrictions on exactly WHICH android apps can be run on BB? You’re basically locked down to wack-a-mole and uh…… well, that’s pretty much it.

  31. says

    i think the only reason why teenagers use bbm is because they want to feel older by using what was originally made for¬†businessmen, and also they probably like the exclusivity of bbm because its limited to only blackberries. I’m sorry but anone who choses a $400+ blackberry just for bbm is an idiot, at that price you can just get an android phone or windows phone 7, which have way more features and are more useful because of the apps, im a teenager myself and my whole school is full of people who use blackberries just for bbm, and all i have to say for them is, your an idiot

  32. Varun Mahan says

    There are many reasons why BBM is so valuable. Obviously many people have mentioned its social worth, calling it “cultish” among other things, but there is a reason for that…because RIM were the pioneers in this field, no one else had a free messaging utility on their phones when BBM came out (cant remember when) so it kind of rode a wave. However…

    There are more important reasons, some of which have already been mentioned but not fully explained. Simply that it is super secure and the data has been¬†encrypted¬†and third parties cannot view the message, so for instance in the situation of a court case, the mobile phone company can be forced to reveal the contents of a SMS, but in the case of BBM the mobile phone company would not have access to the data and even if it did, the action of accessing encypted data is the very definition of hacking (a crime) and so as the data literally belongs to RIM (a¬†Canadian¬†company) only they can reveal the data. In fact, quite recently Saudi Arabia tried to ban Blackberry’s because it made being dictatorial ever so slightly difficult, as many other Arab¬†government’s¬†discovered a little too late, resulting in the recent “Arab Spring” :)

    So Blackberry’s are super secure, and in the right hands can be made to be super duper secure, Fact: Obama uses a Blackberry.¬†

  33. says

    Completely agree with the poster, which is how I got here. I’ve never used BBM before, but I’ve used Blackberrys and know a couple people who have one. As far as general functionality like apps and web browsing, I couldn’t stand using a Blackberry. As far as BBM is concerned, I don’t care about my weekend plans or trivial chats being encrypted. As some others said, I don’t care about being notified that someone read my chat and I would prefer if it didn’t tell them I read theirs. I don’t always feel like relying to chats right away. I realize that maybe when BBM first came out, this kind of functionality set BB apart, but you can get chat apps on any smartphone now. With iOS 5 you get a similar kind of exclusive chat between anyone else running iOS 5. iMessenger can do group chats as well. The fact that iMessenger syncs with other iOS devices like iPad and has one integrated app for iMessages and SMS is great. It lets you know what kind of message you’re sending, but otherwise sending a text or iMessage is the same thing. Otherwise Android and iOS have 3rd party apps for free texting to anyone, they don’t have to have the app. I use gchat a lot and it’s nice that it integrates between PC, phone, and tablet, though it’s annoying that you can’t do group chats. As far as cost, it seems like everyone who has BBM also has a texting plan to chat with friends who don’t have BBM. Even if they don’t you’re still paying for the service. Because most people with smartphones have to have data plans you don’t have to pay extra to use iMessenger, gchat, any other chat app, it just uses your data plan. So I seriously still don’t understand what’s so great about BBM.

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