Now for something completely unexpected, BlackBerry CEO Thorston Heins today announced that one of the most iconic features of the BlackBerry ecosystem, BlackBerry Messenger will be released on the Android and iOS platforms by the end of this Summer. The instant messaging client was always one of the most popular features of BlackBerry smartphones and could this expansion actually hurt the already ailing BlackBerry ecosystem?
BlackBerry Messenger no more exclusive to BlackBerry devices
Hot on the heels of the announcement of the BlackBerry Q5, Thorston Heins announced that the once exclusive proprietary messaging service will no more be tied to BlackBerry OS. Initially, only instant messaging and group chats will be available on Android and iOS. Advanced features such as BBM Voice, BBM Video, screen sharing and Channels will be made available gradually over a year.
The new feature called Channels lets users follow a group, person, brand or anything similar. Similar to pages on Facebook, Channels will bring updates to whoever follows them. As mentioned above, it will first come to BlackBerry devices like Z10 and Q10, while Android and iOS will have to wait a year or so. A concrete release date hasn’t been set for the BlackBerry Messenger launch on Android and iOS, but it should come sometime by the end of Summer. The best part is that it will be completely free!
BlackBerry Messenger was always a killer feature of BlackBerry smartphones and a lot of people bought them only because of it. This expansion is really great for consumers, but it could spell doom for BlackBerry themselves. The platform, while well received, isn’t exactly setting any sales records and considering one of the biggest features is not going to be exclusive anymore, could this be a nail in the coffin for the Canadian company? BlackBerry Messenger has some unique features that no other cross platform messengers have, so it will be successful, but it could be at a great cost. Your thoughts on this development?