BBM has experienced a resurgence in popularity ever since BlackBerry made the app available to Android and iPhone users. The first day saw downloads top 10 million and apparently it’s still going strong.
While the app will always be free, Andrew Bocking, EVP of BBM for BlackBerry, appeared on CBC’s The Morning Edition and declared that “We have other ideas on how to monetize that service.” Bocking hinted at BBM Channels, BlackBerry’s new “social engagement platform within BBM.” This initiative was announced last May and allows users to expand the “BBM experience to brands, artists, businesses and communities, you will now be able to connect with individuals and groups in real time.”
Making BBM a revenue generator is not new as the company was previously seeking individuals to start selling advertisers on using the service, specifically having sponsored posts and targeted ads within the BBM channels you subscribe to. CBC’s Andrea Bellemare stated during the interview that BlackBerry “will launch BBM Channels soon.” Unfortunately there’s no specific timing of when BBM channels will exit beta.
Bocking noted, “We continue to plan to evolve the service and keep making it more engaging and have more reasons why people will come back to use the service.”
In addition, when BlackBerry announced the 10 million download milestone earlier this week they committed to bring BBM Voice and Video calling to Android and iOS users “in the near future.” According to Bocking, these features will arrive “within months.”