After quite some delay and uncertainty surrounding the launch of BBM, or BlackBerry Messenger for both iOS and Android, BlackBerry has just released a press statement revealing that both versions will manifest at their respective stores in the coming hours. Such is the way things have been for BlackBerry over the past couple of years, this is arguably the most exciting thing the company has announced since BB10, and with six million consumers having signed up to the progress update feed of BBM’s wider launch, it looks as though the wait is now finally, almost over.
The official BlackBerry blog post reads like this:
In the next few hours, people will start seeing BBM in Google Play, the App Store and in select Samsung App Stores – where it will be free to download.
With the unofficial release version having found its way to over a million iPhones and Android devices in recent times, it’s clear the intrigue is still prevalent, and although few would dare go out and purchase a BlackBerry handset considering the dire straits in which the Canadian outfit has found itself recently, the name still appears to mean something in the mobile industry. BBM for Android APK was leaked back in September during the process when it was still in beta, while BBM for iPhone found its way to the App Store – officially – after it was ultimately pulled by BlackBerry.
According to the official word, users interested in installing BBM on their device should head over to BBM.com from their Android or iPhone browser, install the app, enter their email address and then wait in the queue. These kinds of rollouts can be a bit tedious, particularly since some will be using the app while others continue to wait in line. But they do help to keep an app in the news for a lot longer than a traditional launch, and if any company was in need of some decent publicity right now, it’s BlackBerry.
You can also keep in the loop regarding the BBM rollout by following the official @BBM Twitter handle, which will announce any significant issues or important tidbits of information.
It is clear that a lot of work has been put into making BBM for Android and iOS a success, and although it still clearly maintains popularity, the manner in which iMessage, WhatsApp and others have established user bases of hundreds of millions each means that BBM faces an uphill battle of helping to rebuild BlackBerry’s ravaged reputation.
Update x1: BBM for iPhone now available to download from App Store.
Update x2: BBM for Android now available on Google Play Store too.