October 22, 2013
BlackBerry Messenger App Now Available For Android, iOS
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, has long been an easy means to communicate from BlackBerry to BlackBerry. However, being confined to the BlackBerry platform was a key limitation in the widespread use of the app. As of Monday, BBM became available to iOS and Android platforms, which has made for a swift adoption of BBM.
The BBM tweet -- "Next 5 million in line - your turn! Open up BBM and click 'I got the email' to get started on #BBM right away!" -- suggests that BlackBerry is controlling the number of users that gain access in order to keep the BBM app from being overwhelmed.
"BlackBerry instituted a phased roll-out that tapped a reservation system promising to 'hold your spot in line' and send an email when those who downloaded the app could start using the service. BlackBerry said 6 million people signed up for information about the release on BBM.com," CNET's Steven Musil wrote.
BlackBerry announced in September it would release a version of BBM on platforms other than its own BlackBerry. Anticipation for the cross-platform messaging service grew, yet a delay in the release of BBM occurred due to an unofficial Android version that was prematurely released.
This delay was not long and with the official version hitting the market on Monday, users were able to begin downloading the app. However, BlackBerry is opting for a well-managed roll out to avoid service disruptions.
"To help manage this unprecedented pent-up demand for BBM, we are implementing a simple line-up system to ensure a smooth rollout," said Andrew Bocking, head of BlackBerry's BBM business in a company blog post.
In the same post Bocking posted BBM roll-out details:
1. Download BBM -- the easiest way is to visit BBM.com from your Android or iPhone browser.
2. Once you install the app, open it, and enter your email address to hold your spot in line.
3. We will email you as soon as you reach the front of the line and can start using BBM.
Those who signed up at BBM.com in advance were able to start using the service immediately. Bocking reported millions of interested users signed up before the app was posted.
It was evident, as seen in talks over the past several weeks, BlackBerry was going to roll out its BBM to new platforms. Industry insiders had suggested BlackBerry might do well to focus on software and apps rather than continue with its own BlackBerry platform, which includes the hardware and operating system.
This is not the first time BBM has made it to the iOS platform; it is the first time it has officially been available, however.
"As you know, in just seven hours, about one million Android users were using the unreleased version of BBM for Android. What you don't know is that more than one million people have found creative ways to 'side load' BBM on their iPhone. This is incredible," Bocking said.