Last night in Orlando Florida, Blackberry held their Blackberry Live 2013 event at which CEO Thorsten Heins announced among other more Blackberry centric topics, that they would be extending the Blackberry Messenger(BBM) service to Android and iOS – no mention of WP8 – this summer or Winter for us in the Southern Hemisphere.
Thorstein advised that BBM should be available in the Google Play Store, pending approval for Android devices running 4.0(Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher. It will be a free download and we’ll have to wait and see exactly Blackberry intends to monetise the service, be it in-app ads or a monthly service fee.
The initial release will include chats, both person to person and multi-person as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes and encage in BBM Group chats which can host up to 30 people.
Coming in future releases of BBM will be support for voice and video chat as well as BBM Channels, a new feature announced last night which is BB10 only currently which will allow customers to connect with ‘the businesses, brands, celebrities and groups they are passionate about’.
With the functionality that has been hinted at in ‘Hangouts/Babel’, which is also expected to extend across most platforms, is BBM even required anymore or is this another case of Blackberry delivering too little, too late?