Back in the day, my friends and I would have group chats on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and perfectly plan out our evenings in college. Life was simpler back then. Today, I have to text multiple friends at the same time and coordinate plans in a more awkward way. That’s because I now own an Android phone instead of a BlackBerry.
Fortunately for crybabies like me, BlackBerry has finally decided to release BBM for Android and iOS devices. The release is apparently coming up this summer, and BBM will run on any devices running iOS 6 and above as well as Android 4.0 and higher handsets.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced the expansion by stating:
“It’s time to bring BBM to a greater audience no matter what mobile device they carry.”
This is obviously a big step for BlackBerry. BBM is one reason I held onto my BlackBerry for so long. Although there are other alternatives available today, few are as easy as BBM – especially if all your friends also own BlackBerries. The company’s decision to end BBM’s exclusive availability on BlackBerry devices is a bold move.
And before critics start to say that BBM won’t be as good on Android and iOS as it is on BlackBerry, the company plans to deliver a “fully featured” BBM experience, including messaging and group chats. In the future, the company even plans to integrate screen sharing, voice chatting, and BBM channels.
BlackBerry’s killer app was always BBM. It won’t be a killer app any longer, and there are plenty of iOS and Android rivals already available (like WhatsApp), so it will be interesting to see what kind of reception the famous chat program receives on rival operating systems.