Waterloo, Ontario – BlackBerry is expanding its well-reviewed BBM messaging and social-network service beyond BlackBerry devices to include Android and iOS devices.
A free BBM app will be available in the Google Play store for Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean beginning at 7 a.m. EDT on Sept. 21. The iOS app for iPhones running iOS 6 and iOS 7 will become available in individual countries in Apple’s App Store at 12:01 a.m. local time on Sept. 22. Consumers will also be able to download the BBM app by visiting www.BBM.com from their smartphone’s browser.
Andrew Bocking, BlackBerry’s BBM EVP, called it “the right time to bring BBM to Android and iPhone customers” because “no dominant mobile messaging platform” exists in a global smartphone market with an installed base of more than a billion Android, iOS, and BlackBerry smartphones.
Besides instant messaging, BBM also lets users instantly share files on a phone, including photos and voice notes. BBM Groups lets users invite up to 30 friends to chat together as well as share photos and schedules. With Broadcast Message, users can send a message to all of their BBM contacts at once.
BBM also lets users post a personal message, profile picture and current status and immediately let contacts know instantly.
BBM is always on and uses a PIN so users don’t have to give anyone their phone number or email address, the company said. Messages are typically delivered and read within seconds, the company added. BBM also lets users know that their message has been delivered and that the recipient is responding to the message.