BlackBerry Messenger lands on Windows Phone to capture new mobile users

BlackBerry brings BBM into Windows Phone

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is now fully available to Windows Phone users following a period of beta testing as the company looks to boost its presence in the mobile market.

BBM is already available for Android and iOS devices and BlackBerry announced its intention to bring it to Windows Phone earlier this year. It will run on any handsets running Windows Phone 8 or above.

With a dwindling share of the smartphone market, BlackBerry is likely looking at expanding further into the field of providing software and services.

Neil Mawston, executive director at analyst house Strategy Analytics, told V3 that consumer messaging services “live or die by the size of their user base”, and as such, BlackBerry needs to take measures to ensure its BBM service survives.

“BlackBerry is trying to maximise the size of its BBM user base by expanding the product across multiple smartphone platforms like Windows Phone. The more people who download BBM, the more attractive it becomes as a messaging hub,” said Mawston.

“BlackBerry is no longer popular enough for BBM to survive as a single-brand messaging service, so it must develop BBM into a multi-platform service to gain as many worldwide users as possible.”

In contrast to Mawston’s view that BBM must expand its user base to survive, John Sims, president of Global Enterprise Services at BlackBerry, declared that BBM continues to grow in popularity.

BlackBerry claims BBM is currently “loved” by more than 85 million users per month and that the app, specifically designed to fit the tile design of the Windows Phone user interface, will build upon that user base.

V3 contacted BlackBerry for figures indicating BBM user growth, but is yet to receive a response.

While BlackBerry made a profit in its 2015 first quarter financial results, it also revealed that revenues fell to $966m, compared against $3.07bn in 2013 and $976m in the previous quarter of its 2014 financial year.

Clearly, BlackBerry will be hoping that by expanding BBM to wider platforms it will shore up revenues in time for the next financial report in September.

Messaging apps, whether they are native or third party, are seen as major opportunities and investments for technology companies. This is highlighted by Facebook’s recent purchase of WhatsApp for a staggering $19bn and the company’s controversial move to push users onto its dedicated messaging app.

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1 August 2014 | 2:32 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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