BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was the messenger service to use a few years ago, but with the demise of BlackBerry and the rise of iOS and Android, it had pretty much fallen by the wayside, except for the diehard BlackBerry users. BlackBerry would not share their BBM with other platforms, thinking that it would keep current Blackberry users from jumping platforms and just might draw some former users back to the fold after they released their new BB10 for the entire world to embrace. When none of those things happened, BlackBerry decided that they would share BBM with both the iOS and Android worlds, in a last ditch effort to help Blackberry to survive.
Not so surprising is that the launch of BBM went about as smooth as BlackBerry introducing BB10 to the world, but what is surprising is how many Android users rushed to download the app - were they actually going to use BBM or was it more just 5 million people's curiosity? I know for me, a former BlackBerry user, it was more or less a nostalgic "blast into the past" to see why I did like it so much at one time. However, I took a quick look and then quickly removed it from my Galaxy Note 2 - I use the standard SMS and Google's Hangouts to message my friends.
Right now BlackBerry claims that there are about 80 million active users with 20 million of them being iOS and Android users, so at first it seems a little strange that LG and BlackBerry would announce that the LG G Pro Lite would come with BBM out of the box, until Kevin Shin, Vice President of Marketing for Asia, the Middle East and CIS countries of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company explained:
"BBM is widely used throughout the Middle East, Africa and Indonesia where smartphone users tend to engage heavily in social networking," said . The LG G Pro Lite offers an optimized BBM experience with its large, high quality display and embedded Stylus Pen."
Followed up by Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry:
"People across the globe are using BBM to connect with each other and the enthusiasm has been phenomenal. We're extremely pleased that LG Electronics will help bring their customers a more seamless experience with BBM by preloading the app, starting with the G Pro Lite in key markets."
The most important words there is "in key markets" - The LG G Pro Lite will only be sold in the emerging markets where BBM is still very prevalent, as are BlackBerry devices. No word on what other LG models may include BBM, so we will have to wait and see if the models sold in the U.S. will include BBM out-of-the-box.
Let us know on our Google+ Page if you use BBM and how it compares to other messengers - what are your reasons for continuing its use.