People all over the world were overly excited with the launch of BBM services on iOS and Android. Millions were waiting in line for a spot to get connection through BlackBerry’s IM service, where you had to wait for an e-mail to confirm your account. BlackBerry literally got flooded with subscription requests on BBM’s the launch day.
However, it seems that BlackBerry has something new coming for the popular IM service. Since BBM on iOS and Android only support text messages, BlackBerry decided that iOS and Android users should benefit from BBM Voice and BBM Channels, currently available to BlackBerry smartphone users. The features are nothing new compared to other apps used daily, but since the BBM service received such a big response from iOS and Android users, it would be a strategic move for BlackBerry to add some more features to its growing service.
BBM Voice is a voice call feature, such as Skype or Viber. It basically lets the user call another account as a normal phone call, only it will use the internet to connect instead of using up your subscription minutes or filling up your bill. Those with unlimited mobile internet subscriptions will probably be thrilled about this.
BBM Channels is a sort of social network, ‘more like Tumblr’ as a BlackBerry representative describes it, where users can find a topic they are interested in, such as a brand, an interest, a hobby etc. and join in on the conversations of the given topic. It is an interesting and ‘robust’ idea as they have put it, however we will just have to see if the service will get the desired attention and user appreciation.
We see that users will also be able to share photos and voice memos, as well as their location for a limited amount of time. How they will implement it, that is a good question indeed. The updated version of BBM has not been given an official release date, but it is said to hit the appstores somewhere in February, if not sooner.