BlackBerry has just released a rather substantial update to the iOS and Android versions of its famed BBM app, bringing stickers, group photo sharing, and other such niceties. A full run-down of the enhancements, as well as the all-important download link to both the iOS and Android editions of BBM 2.1, can be seen below.
BlackBerry has looked like a company short on ideas for a long while now, and with the BB10 OS having failed to make the kind of impression upon consumers that the Canadian company might have hoped, the decision was made to throw BBM, or BlackBerry Messenger, out to the masses.
Although it seemed a tad desperate, opting to take the once-treasured IM feature and release it to the App Store and Google Play looks to be paying some dividends. During a conference call last week, the company’s newly-appointed CEO John Chen noted that the service boasted 85 million monthly users, and with engagement on BBM Channels counted at 11.5 posts per user, per day, the company has big plans to monetize what is now a prized asset.
WhatsApp, which was recently bought out by Facebook, is still the big fish in the pond when it comes to instant messaging, but plenty of those on iOS and Android have recently accustomed themselves to BBM. Today, the app has been given a healthy update to version 2.1 on both Apple and Google’s mobile platforms, and as well as support for group photo sharing, users can now send larger files to one another.
The marquee feature of the update, though – and an insight into how BlackBerry plans to generate substantial revenue through BBM – is the implementation of the BBM Shop, which sells stickers and emoticons to interested parties. Some are free, of course, but if you want to broaden your horizons, you can pick up some packs featuring recognized characters for a $1.99 in-app purchase.
You can grab the updated app via the links below, and as ever, the app is absolutely free.