BlackBerry has confirmed that its BBM messaging service is being split into three separate services. Users of the messaging service could previously simply switch from one platform to another by transferring their BBID, but after a recent update, users who switched no longer had access to contacts, groups or even BBM channels, and BlackBerry now finally explained the new state of affairs.
The Canadian company has announced that there are now three separate BBM services, but in the process of enabling them, the company prevented users from accessing its servers, hence the reason why many couldn't access their contacts or groups. As part of the split, Blackberry has created BBM Enterprise which is aimed at business customers and is available on all mobile platforms, but in the case of the consumer version, things aren't as simple. With the split, the company has created two separate consumer versions; the first, called BBM Consumer for BBOS and BB10, is aimed at legacy BlackBerry users who still enjoy using the platform, while the second, called BBM Consumer for Android, iOS and Microsoft devices is aimed at users of these three platforms. With the introduction of the change, BB10 and BBOS users can currently switch to Android, iOS or Windows devices without the need for a new BBID, but doing the opposite is no longer possible, with those wishing to switch over to BB10 now needing to create a new BBID. From September 25, though, BB10 and BBOS users will not even be able to switch to another platform. In terms of BBM Enterprise users, they remain relatively unaffected, with the only drawback being that they can no longer migrate their account to a BBM Consumer one, though BlackBerry has confirmed the introduction of a new feature called Multiple Points of Presence for Enterprise accounts, allowing users to have the service running on numerous devices simultaneously.
BlackBerry said that the split of the enterprise service from the consumer one will allow it to better target each one of its offerings based on the preferences of their respective users. Nonetheless, by essentially singling out BB10 and BBOS users, it appears BlackBerry is hoping the move will force users to switch over to the newer platforms sooner rather later.