Life & Health A young woman holds an iphone and BlackBerry

Published on November 29, 2013 | by Lora-Lyn Slama     Photography by Erica Duhaney


What can the new BlackBerry Messenger do for you?

How does something gain 20 million users in two weeks? Just ask BlackBerry.

BlackBerry has announced that its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) apps for Android and iOS have been downloaded more than 20 million times since its mid-October release and over half of those downloads happened in the first 24 hours. Since its release the BBM app has been number one in app stores in Canada and many other countries.

“It is great to see so many people downloading BBM, but the true measurement for us is engagement – the connections being made and the conversations in which our BBM community engages,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of BBM at BlackBerry in a statement.

“The power of BBM has always been the active, real conversations and interaction that our customers enjoy.”

When a user signs up he or she gets a unique PIN and bar code. To gain contacts, he or she shares that PIN or bar code, which acts as a username; other users then type it in to add that person to their contacts. When someone shares a bar code, another person can scan the code to automatically add that person to his or her BBM contact list.

Students can use BBM’s features such as: BBM Video with Screen Share, BBM voice and BBM-connected apps.

BBM users can have individual, group or multiple chats all at once. A feature unique to BBM is that the sender can see exactly when the others have read their messages. Users can also share pictures, files, calendars and more.

BBM Video with Screen Share lets students show photos, what they’re currently reading or study notes.

BBM Voice lets students turn BBM conversation from text to a call. They can send vocal messages to their contacts, from virtually anywhere in the world for free over WiFi.

BBM connected apps lets students chat within social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter. It allows students to invite their contacts to join them in certain apps.

However, students who have downloaded BBM for iOS or Android will have to wait to use all the features including BBM Video and Screen Share, BBM Voice and BBM connected apps.

My team is still committed to bringing those features to BBM on Android and iPhone in the near future. And we’re not stopping there – we have some great new features planned that will build on BBM as the private social network you count on for immediate conversations you can control and trust,” said Bocking’s statement.

BBM was first created in 2005. Apple users currently have iMessage which allows them to send messages to contacts over their Apple devices including the iPad and iPhone. Android users have the default messaging app called Messaging. Other messaging apps such as WhatsApp andTextPlus can be downloaded and used by BlackBerry, Apple and Android users.


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is a 3rd year Media Studies student specializing in Journalism

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