BlackBerry Messenger opens up to Android, iOS

Canadian firm BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) plans to make its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) application available on iOS and Android platforms later this year.

In the first version of multi-platform BBM, iOS and Android users will get access to instant messaging; multi-person chat; voice note sharing; and BlackBerry Groups of up to 30 people able to share calendars, photos and files.

BlackBerry claims more than 60 million monthly active BBM users of which more than 51 million are daily active users connecting with friends or colleagues an average of one and a half hours every day. The firm said that BBM users send and receive more than ten billion messages each day, which is nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps and almost half of BBM messages are opened within 20 seconds of being received.

In a bid to turn BBM into a more social platform, BlackBerry also announced BBM Channels, designed to allow users to connect with businesses, brands, celebrities and groups.

Pending approval from Google Play and the Apple App Store, BBM should be available on other platforms later this summer and will be updated to include BBM Channels as well as voice and video chatting for iOS and Android later this year.

Andrew Bocking, EVP, software product management and ecosystem, at BlackBerry, said: “For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service. BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy.”

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