I personally have been calling for Research in Motion to take BBM cross platform since March of 2011.
Although rumors pointing to such a move are pretty easy to find, BlackBerry Messenger, what I believe to be the best mobile IM client of all time, is still only available on BlackBerry devices, and, sadly, has a shrinking potential user base.
Former BBMers, like myself, would return to using BBM on our non-BlackBerry OS smartphone operating systems in a heartbeat, if it were available, but the truth of the matter is that the longer you go without using BBM, the less you long for it.
A bigger problem for RIM is that BBM, though still insanely popular among BlackBerry users, is being challenged by popular third party IM clients, not because they are better than BBM, but, because they allow you to more effectively communicate.
BBM is a tool built for communication, but, is limited by the number BlackBerry using contacts one has, which sadly, is a dwindling number.
Cross platform mobile IM clients like WhatsApp Messenger, on the other hand, are limited by the number of one’s contacts that use smartphones and are willing to install the app.
Seeing how WhatsApp is the second most popular app on the BlackBerry, trailing only BBM, one can infer that the number of people willing to install it is pretty high.
The number one reason RIM should take BBM cross platform is because doing so is necessary for the app to remain relevant…
This is my opinion, and, I love to hear yours in the comments…
Yeah no, you want BBM? Get a BlackBerry device. End of story.
If RIM did this, the remaining core of BB users wouldn’t have anything else to call exclusive. Terrible idea.
I agree, you have to have something that’s special and to let BBM go cross is like a double cross or like crossing over.
If view BBM has a hardware feature of the BlackBerry, maybe this makes sense. What if, however, you view BBM as a software application with a goal to grow its user base as much as possible? Exclusivity doesn’t make sense…
Where is the benefit for RIM in this? Are we talking about a free app or a paid subscription to BBM? There would be zero benefit for RIM as a company if they gave it away for free.
You know this is funny because at a get together last night I met a guy who had never owned a BlackBerry. He has been a Apple guy since the 1st iPhone came out and we just happened to start talking about social media and chat communication. I then showed him BBM and had a session with a friend and he was like this is a very good program I need this. Yes hands down BBM is the best and even though it would be a great benefit to go cross platform, This is one of last good things that BlackBerry has and to release it cross would basically say there done. If BlackBerry falls the yes , until then I would say no.
Just say no to drugs…I mean, cross platform BBM
Sure this would the best thing it should go cross platform asap
BBM is a big competitive advantage for RIM. The only way a cross platform version would make sense is if they got something equally valuable in return.
Such as: Perhaps make an Android version if Google agrees to produce a native Google Maps app for BB10. Make a WinPhone8 version if MS reciprocates with a native Skype app. I’m not sure what Apple has that BB wants… Maybe some patent licence considering Apple’s recent behaviour? You get the idea.
I’d argue that BlackBerrys (even acknowledging that their current OS is dated) are still the best *communication* devices out there. The QWERTY keyboards, great email handing and BBM are a big part of that.
A cross platform version of BBM sounds like a great idea to an end user who has left BB but still wants the benefit of their great communication tools. It’s also helpful to BlackBerry users as not all their contacts will use BB devices. It might even generate some positive mind-share for the BlackBerry brand which has been so ridiculously beaten by the media. However, that alone is not enough to give (rather than trade) away one of their competitive advantages.
But, to sum up by restating: Trading BBM (by making it cross platform) for a reciprocal app(s) does make a lot of sense to me.
I disagree entirely, YOU chose to leave Blackberry, knowing what you were giving up. There is no use whinning that you miss the features you had with a blackberry, having your cake and eating it to as it were.
Yes, I chose to use a device other than the BlackBerry and accept that BBM isn’t available on Android…
A guy can dream though… Can’t he?
All kidding aside, BBM was the hardest thing to stop using when I switched to Android. When I moved from a Bold 9650, my former primary device, to a Bold 9930, currently my secondary device, I did not update my contacts letting them know of my new PIN.
Instead I rely on WhatsApp and SMS, and, even if decide to make a BlackBerry 10 device my primary device next year, I would still need to rely on WhatsApp and SMS because most of my contacts are not BlackBerry users, as was the case when I relegated my BlackBerry 9930 to secondary status.
I’ve got to former Bbmer like myself…..you have a site about Blackberry yet dont use blackberry? I’m not interested in what you have to say about rim
Beside i d
I still use a BlackBerry, but, I no longer carry two, and, my primary device is powered by Android.
I don’t think this should preclude me from voicing my opinion.
BBM users have increased not dwindled.
I didn’t say the number of BBM users has decreased, but, that the number of BlackBerry using contacts has. I admit that I could have worded better.
This is a hot one Robb lol!
None of you think it’s sad to say the only thing keeping people on a platform is a solitary app? There are more compelling things to BB 10 than just BBM. So, why not take it cross-platform? Because you are scared everyone will leave your platform? Come on folks, there are more advantages than just BBM. The reality is not everyone uses Blackberry. But BBM resonates with a lot of people formerly on Blackberry and who have never touched a Blackberry. As a business, why shouldn’t they capitalize on both the app front (creating apps that do work on other platforms) and making their BB 10 compelling enough for people to want their devices also? They could actually make money on devices and apps.
You make a good point but I truly doubt if you had a business and one of your main features of that business you would just open it up. We can debate about what phones are better till the cows come home but in the end it’s about the end user and his or her choice. BBM is truly BlackBerry and it’s a decision each user must make if they stay or leave. It’s the best messaging program hands down. I’m sure if IOS,Android or Windows phone had a messagimg service like BBM it would be exclusively for that OS. No one is scared about users leaving the platform at all. I think we have gotten away from what the original post was meant to do and that is provoke thought and debate not hate. We will leave the sesantivity to Ralph Tresvant. Eigther way it goes with or without BBM you still have to make decisons that’s best for you and your needs as a consumer. It’s all love folks and this post had no malice intended.
It’s this kind of thinking that, in my opinion, got RIM in the predicament it is in.
I am holding out for BlackBerry 10, but, many BlackBerry users have moved on, and many more smartphone users will use iOS, Android.Windows phone ect., never having ever owned a BlackBerry.
A communication tool that only allows me to communicate with a small subset of is just not terrible useful. Not only do I have Whatsapp messenger, but, Kik Messenger, IM+, just so that I can continue to chat with my friends that have moved off of BlackBerry.
Whenever someone leaves BBM they always complain about whatever they replace it with sucking in comparison, but, not a single one them has decided to come back to BlackBerry just because of BBM.
WhatsApp is not nearly as good as BBM, but, it is good enough and getting better with each update.
RIM needs to try something different and maybe make BBM available to all can help them out in the long run.
I really sounds bad to hear people say that BBM is the only thing that keeps people on BlackBerry because, clearly, it isn’t working out to well for Rim.,
its not the only thing that keeps people on BlackBerry but it’s one of the features that makes BlackBerry What it is. What’s really sad is that we have reduced ourselves to this point. We all know RIM is not doing as well as it should be but RIM will go on just like other phone companies today. The fact remains regardless that BBM currently is a exclusive program for BlackBerry users and although many ex BlackBerry users would love to see it cross platform, right now it’s just not an option.
Using that logic, Google Maps should only be on Androids then. Last I checked, up until iOS 6 they were powering their biggest competitor’s device mapping. You can even get a version for Blackberry. One that some prefer over the native maps app. Closer to similar, Google Talk and Google Plus should only be on Android. Grant it, Google Talk doesn’t have an iOS version (kind of head scratcher). All that said, the primary difference between the Android version and the others, they make it do some things it doesn’t do on other platforms.
It’s not about being scared about people leaving but you have to understand that RIM is a business and if they sell ONE more phone because someone wants BBM and HAS TO get a BlackBerry to use it, that equals a win for them. They also have a couple of aces up their sleeves which includes BBM: great push email, keyboards, etc so why in the world would they just give one of those aces up so others can use it without seeing anything in return?
RIM isn’t turning into a “messaging” company so they don’t need to dominate the messaging market (if there even is such a thing).
Tons of people, like the writer of this article, miss BBM and are hoping BB10 is as solid as promised and will have that extra motivation to get a BB10 device because of BBM.
I do see your point. But, I think it can be looked at a bit different. They didn’t intend to make a popular messaging application, but that is what happened. Why not capitalize on it? They may not intend to be a messaging company, but they have managed to make a very good messaging application. Note, I’m saying they should charge those on other platforms for it. The plus for Blackberry users would be that it is free. Everyone else would have to pay for it. It’s found money. It probably wouldn’t even cost them much to do it.
I agree that BBM should be taken cross platform, BUT it should be a pay service -like $2-$3/month and include other IM and/or email services, and go through Rim’s network. Maybe secure email? However, just moving it to other platforms without locking it to RIM/BlackBerry is pointless.
Clearly, BBM is not a big enough feature of the BlackBerry to keep everyone who loves BBM from leaving BlackBerry for other platforms.
The question really is if it is a big enough feature to keep “enough” BlackBerry users on the BlackBerry platform until BlacBerry 10 comes out.
I think that BBM going cross platform will depend on how well BlackBerry 10 does. If RIM has a shot at making a rebound with BB10 you will see BBM stay proprietary. If BB10 is too little too late, you will probably see it go cross platform simple because the app itself has value…