BlackBerry explains BBM expansion to iOS and Android
On our 2nd day of the BlackBerry Live Conference, we sat down with several key executives to ask questions about the device, partnerships, apps and the move to expand BBM service to Android and iOS. Here’s what we got from the session.
Q. Why expand BBM to other platforms now?
A. It’s all about the timing. BlackBerry believes now is the right time to expand the BBM service. They’re confident that the BB 10.1 OS, the line-up of devices and the 120,000 apps in BB World is already a strong foundation that gives them a good foot-hold of their user base and hopefully expand this to Android and iOS.
Q. Is BlackBerry not concerned about no longer attracting new customers into their ecosystem now that BBM can be used on any iOS or Android device?
A. Nope. This move is a showcase on how strong, fast and efficient the BBM service is. The BBM service will still have the best experience on a BB 10 device along with the most complete and updated features. BlackBerry alreay has over 60 million active BBM users and is looking to grow that with the introduction of iOS and Android apps.
Q. Will BBM now compete with cross-platform messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, etc?
A. Not really. Each app has their own strengths an weaknesses. BBM has a strong feature-set (like BBM Video with Screen Share) and BlackBerry believes it will run smoothly alongside all other messaging apps in the market.
Q. When will it be available in the BlackBerry World storefront?
A. Sometime in summer (US) or starting this July.
Q. Will it come with all the features of BBM on BB OS 10.1?
A. The basic BBM services will be available initially with regular, incremential updates to be introduced in the months ahead (before December).
Q. How about Windows Phone 8 OS?
A. BlackBerry based its decision on what the market wants and for now, there’s not much demand from WP8 users so there’s no plan for it yet. BlackBerry will eventually add it once there’s enough request for that platform.
Q. How about a desktop client?
A. There’s also no demand for BBM for desktop so there’s no plan for that yet.