BBM finally launched last week and brought in quite a bit of attention, which actually surprised me. I thought a lot of people would just skip over it since it had so many broken launch dates already. But cool we have another messenger app that's cross platform. However, can BBM differentiate itself from the competitors? Blackberry has an answer, well sort of.
The app will remain free, and it doesn't look like there will be any in-app purchases like stickers or anything, but who knows. Andrew Brocking who is the EVP of Blackberry Messenger stated that "we have other ideas on how to monetize that service." Brocking hinted at BBM Channels which is already available on BB10, which is their new Social engagement platform within BBM.
Making BBM a revenue generator is not new as the company was already seeking individuals to start selling advertisers on using the service, specifically having sponsored posts and targeted ads within the BBM channels you subscribe too. Brocking also noted that BBM will be adding voice calls and video calling to their app in the near future. Also, BBM downloaded over 10 million times just on Android. Which is pretty insane, especially for the amount of people I saw saying they'd never download it. As far as the Voice and Video calling go, it would work cross platform, which is huge. And it should go live "in the near future" according to Brocking. These features should arrive "within months."
BBM is actually off to a better start than I thought it would be. I'm surprised and happily surprised that it's so popular. I'd love to see Blackberry continue to make it's comeback as I love seeing competition in the mobile space, but it's still not looking good for them. They need to find a way to monetize BBM quick. Let's see what they plan on doing.