On a day when Apple launched the iPad Air, BlackBerry relaunched it’s social messaging/networking app BBM for iOS and Android – unfortunately for BlackBerry, probably a no-contest to grab the headlines (perhaps they could’ve chosen a better launch date).
BBM is a bit a last gasp effort by RIM (the maker of Blackberry) to join the party, as people have left their handsets in droves, mainly due to being behind in technology. BBM allows users (and now iPhone and Android phone users) all the connectivity of other social networking, but in a much more private way. Users can choose who they allow to contact them and instead of using a phone number, email address or username, BBM uses a PIN.
People can use the app to send text messages, images, videos etc so is obviously a popular choice for people who don’t like the rates their mobile provider will charge them for the same thing. But BBM is is just one of many of these types of apps, in fact you could already do this using Facebook quite some time ago. So what’s so special about BBM? Well, nothing really. So why is BBM seeming to take off so quickly – they’ve already had 10 millions downloads in the first 24 hours and when I tried to download it got asked to join the queue (see image).
Is there a dormant population of BlackBerry faithfuls out there who are now waking up?