BlackBerry has just announced that the BlackBerry Messenger service will be launching on Android and iOS devices this summer.
BlackBerry CEO Throsten Heins announced today that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will become available this summer for Apple devices running iOS 6 and higher, as well as for Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above. BlackBerry has been planning this expansion for some time, joining the ranks for other multi-platform messaging services like Kik and Whatsapp. The new app, which will be free on both Android and iOS, will support multi-person conversations, voice note sharing and BlackBerry Groups, which lets users make groups for up to 30 people in order to share files and calendars.
Heins stated that BBM now has over 60 million users who collectively send more than 10 billion messages a day. “BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community,” he said.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins
The announcement was made alongside the unveiling of BBM channels, a new social feature allowing companies, celebrities or lifestyle brands to create pages for BBM users to follow. The feature is still in beta, but is expected to update every two to four weeks for a full launch later this summer. When updates are posted to a BBM channel, the follower will see it in their BlackBerry Hub, much like an RSS reader.
Initially, Android and iOS users will be restricted to messaging, but eventually, those platforms will receive a full complement of BBM features, including screen sharing, channels and BBM voice. “We are making the BBM platform more powerful than ever” stated Heins.