1. khaltire's Avatar
    I know this has been a hot topic lately, and lots of threads have been opened. This is not, however, an ordinary thread. I have written a long article for my blog about this and why RIM may or may not do it. I also go into the Pros and Cons of such a decision. I did a lot of research about the topic and I think everyone will find they enjoyed a good read. Please comment below and on my blog if you get a chance! Cheers

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    BBM is coming to other platforms, or at least a recent rumor suggests. Rumor has it that RIM’s extremely popular BlackBerry Messenger is supposed to be coming to Android devices before the end of 2011, and to iOS devices (iPhone) some time after that. It is said that these platforms will receive a “BBM Lite” version that will have only basic functionality (i.e. no sending of files, no games (which will soon be seen in BBM 6), and no groups). It is also said that there will be a fee for the application, either a yearly or monthly fee. Now, the unique thing about this rumor is that it is both believable and unbelievable at the same time. To me, it seems very unlikely that RIM would share something so unique and specific to the BlackBerry community with their competition. But at the same time, it seems surprising that they haven’t already expanded beyond the tightly knit cult of BBM users that currently exists. With social interconnectedness becoming a huge part of our daily lives, it seems like opening up the door to let iPhone and Android users in wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all. Mobile communication is blind; it doesn’t care what OS you have or what type of phone you use. Anything that limits our ability to reach out to others on a mobile platform in this day and age is a faux-pas, no matter how you look at it. In the case of BlackBerry Messenger, only BlackBerry users can chat with each other. This seems to be alright for the most part since this community is so large. However, it is quickly becoming difficult to ignore the large community of iPhone and Android users, both of whom which can already chat with each other seamlessly with applications like WhatsApp. This actually makes BBM seem like the odd man out. Luckily, BlackBerry Messenger is a far superior messaging platform and therefore its core users (BlackBerry users) are happy to stick with it; there simply isn’t any need to look elsewhere. After reading hundreds of comments on Engadget, BGR, and Crackberry, I’ve put a list of facts together about why RIM may or may not decide to make BlackBerry Messenger a multi-platform instant messaging client:



    Pros

    * RIM sees the ever-growing success BBM and feels like they can capture the IM market on other platforms (this might explain why they removed Kik from App World)
    * The amount of revenue they could generate from application sales and/or subscriptions to the service would be staggering if BBM becomes popular on other platforms

    Cons

    * Many BlackBerry users continue to use BlackBerries solely for BBM. If RIM allows other platforms to have this app, RIM might give away the only edge they have left. People will be much more likely to switch as the only thing that was keeping them to BlackBerry is now on Android and iPhone.
    * It doesn”t make much sense for non-BBM users to suddenly switch from WhatsApp to BBM. Especially since BBM wouldn’t even be the full version, and it wouldn’t be free. Why start from scratch and build contacts all over again, and have to pay to do it?



    There are more interesting things that I’ve thought up with as well. Firstly, one thing I noticed when reading through hundreds of comments is that many people who don’t use BlackBerries don’t understand how superior BBM is to every other mobile messaging platform. In fact, many people commented saying that texting is perfectly fine, and nobody should need anything more than that. This surprised me, I found it very interesting that these people didn’t seem to want anything over and above texting. This explains why they wouldn’t be interested in BBM. I think it comes down to the fact that they’ve never tried any type of ‘always-on’ messaging service. That, or they simply don’t have enough friends to warrant the use of such a service.

    Then, there’s the WhatsApp users. They don’t understand why BlackBerry users can’t just use WhatsApp to message across multiple platforms, instead of using BBM, which is of course BlackBerry specific. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be any problems and we’d all just get along great and everyone would be happy messaging each other. But, for some reason, this isn’t the case. In all honestly, I don’t even have an answer as to why this is. I think people who don’t use BlackBerry Messenger will never truly understand why it is so much better than anything else out there. I just can’t explain it – it just is. You have to try it for yourself to understand why.

    One thing I wanted to mention again is that it seems like making BBM available to all seems like it benefits the on-the-fence BlackBerry users the most. These are the ones who have been ready to jump ship for quite some time and have been waiting forever for devices that never seem to come. I personally feel like I am one of those users. For me, it was always BBM holding me back from leaving. I tried both Android and iPhone, but eventually I had to go back to my trusty 9700. I felt a certain “disconnect” not being able to BBM people. Texting those same people just never seemed to fill the void. Like I said earlier, there’s just something so special about BBM and the way it works. But, back to my point. I couldn’t imagine losing all my 50+ BBM contacts, but I really seriously wish I had all the bells and whistles of iPhone and Android phones. Now, if the rumors are true, this dream could become a reality. How could you go wrong with BBM on Android or iPhone? Now you can have a superior messaging client with excellent operating systems, alongside thousands of apps that certainly don’t exist on the BlackBerry platform.

    Another thing I noticed is that there seems to be four types of people when it comes to opinions on this topic:

    * The die-hard BlackBerry users who are against sharing it because they want to keep it BlackBerry specific
    * The die-hard BlackBerry users who want to share it (because they’re friends have Android or iPhone)
    * On-the-fence BlackBerry users who are excited for and embracing the change
    * Non BlackBerry users who don’t seem to care because they text or use WhatsApp already

    Finally, I’d like to mention one more thing: RIM is smart. If they decide to do it, it will be the right decision. If they don’t decide to do it, it will be the right decision. They are a multi-billion dollar company and you can be sure that they will make whatever decision benefits them the most. I actually believe they have a large master plan and it goes something like this: BBM goes multi-platform, users get to try it out for a year or so and then they get hooked. They finally see what all the fuss was about. Around this time, RIM finally launches the QNX Super Phones. Now that people are hooked on BBM and these new phones are getting media attention, everyone wants one. Not only do they get a new shiny BlackBerry, they also get RIM’s brand new OS that has been heavily advertised, and, guess what else? A fully functional version of BBM, not a crippled version like the one these users have been using. This could become a strong selling point, and now suddenly everyone wants to get their hands on the latest BlackBerry product. It seems a little out there, but I think this is what would happen if they decide to go multi-platform with BBM. If things unfold this way, RIM will look like a genius. If not, RIM will look like a failure.

    Hope you enjoyed this read. I know it was a long one but this is a very interesting topic and there’s lots to be said. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by khaltire; 03-04-11 at 12:02 AM.
    03-03-11 11:26 PM
  2. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    The only reason they're looking into doing this now is because they've heard of Facebook trying to gain this market because their app is already cross-platform. They realize it's a good option, but trust me... they didn't even want to consider this a few years ago. Recently RIM is seeing more and more consumers jump to other platforms and they're trying to resecure those lost revenues. Like it or not, RIM tends to copycat a lot of other's ideas. Sometimes they expand upon them in a good way, but that doesn't make it an original idea at all.
    03-03-11 11:55 PM
  3. zorba3726's Avatar
    I agree with the post. Especially with the strategy part.
    I am pretty sure that whatever RIM is doing these days is part of a large master plan. If you also look at the long list of companies RIM acquired in the last one year, it's all a part of a well thought strategy.
    Also, in developing countries like India people are addicted to messaging and now a days everyone is moving to BB Messenger. Releasing BB Messenger to other platforms will make sure that BB Messenger will stay as leader in this segment in these countries. This will also give a great halo effect to BlackBerry in general and whoever values the messenger a lot would probably move to BB Phone eventually.
    03-03-11 11:59 PM
  4. khaltire's Avatar
    jrs -

    do you mean with facebook chat? hm i didnt think of that when i wrote it. did you read everything i wrote? im curious to see whether people share the same opinion as me or not
    03-03-11 11:59 PM
  5. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    Yes, that's what I meant. I kinda skimmed it.

    I knew plenty of people that had or still have a BB and never use BBM. These people use SMS to get in touch with their friends and won't move to BBM even if it was cross-platform for the same reason that they don't use something like Google Talk or any of the other data based chat programs. SMS is quick and direct (you just need to know the number and you can pretty much hit anyone). People don't want to keep track of other id forms for chat programs even if you made the exchange process easy with QR Code scanning and such.

    People want simple and easy. Name/phone number/email. Nothing more. This is why some people would rather use FaceTime than Skype for their video calling. One less account to keep track of and one less program to use. As long as they know your phone number, the backend infrastructure makes FaceTime work for them as long as the person they're trying to reach has an iPhone. I'm just using this as an example, but this is why people pick up an iPhone and do exactly the same stuff they did when picking up an Android device, but for some reason they think the iPhone is simpler and quicker for them to use. It's weird, I know.
    03-04-11 12:10 AM
  6. khaltire's Avatar
    people have to keep in mind as well that different regions use BBM and certain areas dont. ive noticed certain age groups bbm is extremely popular as well ( in my area anyways)

    some countries bbm just hasnt caught on, some it has, some its unheard of, and some its an epidemic
    03-04-11 01:15 AM
  7. grahamf's Avatar
    RIM did try this before. it's called Blackberry Connect.
    I'm still trying to find all the details, but this version was more dependent on OEM integrating it into their devices (Nokia decided to no longer make it compatible with their devices and that was the last I heard of BC).
    I think RIM intends to update BC and make it Android compatible, and this time offer it directly to the users as an app instead of working with OEMs to include compatibility.
    Last edited by grahamf; 03-04-11 at 02:18 AM.
    03-04-11 02:15 AM
  8. jlb21's Avatar
    I am ok with it. I love my BB and I love my hard keyboard. Just can't stand the touch screen only devices.

    My personal opinion....anyone that says the only reason they use a BB is for BBM....not a hard core BB person and not someone RIM probably cares about very much.

    For every person that "leaves Blackberry" because of BBM being opened up, I think there are many corporate users who are part of a larger block of revenue for RIM than what they lose by people moving to another platform.

    And what RIM loses from each person "leaving" is only the possibility of that person buying more phones from them and keeping a line of service (or more if a whole fam) going. Does RIM get money from the carriers for the BIS? Not sure about that.

    But I guess what I am trying to say, I think RIM has plenty of new/upcoming revenue streams (PlayBook, new phones eventually, fees for BBM on the other devices) that it will not be a big revenue loss, if at all.

    The big risk is the (potentially overblown) PR fight they may have to wage when they open BBM up.

    That's all just my $.02.

    Honestly, I think if they do open up BBM, then we are all #winning!
    03-04-11 06:59 AM
  9. Rickroller's Avatar
    People don't want to keep track of other id forms for chat programs even if you made the exchange process easy with QR Code scanning and such.

    People want simple and easy. Name/phone number/email. Nothing more.
    If the IM client is built properly..this is never an issue to begin with. Take Whatsapp for example..as soon as you download it..it searches your contacts and anyone else who has this program installed on their phone (be it cross platform or not) shows up in your list of potential "friends". There is no need for you the user to do anything other than select a contact and start typing. Even with BBM you need to input someone's PIN number and then have them accept you..whereas this one it does all the leg work for you.
    03-04-11 07:46 AM
  10. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    If the IM client is built properly..this is never an issue to begin with. Take Whatsapp for example..as soon as you download it..it searches your contacts and anyone else who has this program installed on their phone (be it cross platform or not) shows up in your list of potential "friends". There is no need for you the user to do anything other than select a contact and start typing. Even with BBM you need to input someone's PIN number and then have them accept you..whereas this one it does all the leg work for you.
    The other point is that now you've involved a 3rd party with your info and message routing. Some people don't like having a lot of hands in their cookie jar.


    To the other poster, yes, RIM gets paid for each BIS and BES subscription plan from the carriers.
    03-04-11 08:06 AM
  11. Rickroller's Avatar
    The other point is that now you've involved a 3rd party with your info and message routing. Some people don't like having a lot of hands in their cookie jar.
    Most people don't care.
    03-04-11 08:22 AM
  12. jacmeister68's Avatar
    People that use BB s do care about this. I would rather RIM do it than a third party. Also the more that this malware problem gets outed that happened in the market, more users on other platforms will feel the same.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-04-11 09:03 AM
  13. StaticFX's Avatar
    the big difference is the non BB users will only have limited functionality. They wont be able to send images/files etc... just chat. So there is still a reason to keep your BB
    03-04-11 09:39 AM
  14. Heavy Fluid's Avatar
    As jr said above, some people don't use BBM. I am one of them. Most of my friends and contacts no longer have BB's, so I have resorted to SMS. Most people now have unlimited SMS integrated into their wireless plan. I am one of those people.

    Had RIM done this a few years ago, I think that they would still be in the game, but it seems like the more time that passes, the more people I see moving to other platforms, like Android and of course, iOS. It just seems like RIM is a day late on just about everything that they put out, and do.
    03-04-11 11:43 AM
  15. K Bear's Avatar
    This is all about generating more revenue for RIM. They bait thoes who jumped ship by throwing out a bone like BBM, with a catch, you have to pay for it. Blackberry owners pay for BIS/BES/BESX, now RIM can charge non-Blackberry owners to use BBM. It's all about trying to recoup lost revenue from defectors and attempting to entice users to remember what is perceived as a reason consumers jump to Blackberrys, BBM.
    03-06-11 10:38 AM
  16. Simplymesince79's Avatar
    Very awesome read. I'm sort of a extreme bb user. If your not on a berry there should be no bbm for you. Reading the QNX part made me drool btw.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-12-11 11:38 PM
  17. Shashwat Pradhan's Avatar
    So I sat down last night after BB Live to put down all my views on how multi-platform BBM is awesome for BlackBerry despite what the majority is saying: http://forums.crackberry.com/general...alysis-807535/
    05-15-13 07:24 PM
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