BlackBerry Messenger now on iOS and Android, but there's a wait list

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After a long wait and some missteps, BlackBerry's BBM messaging app is finally available on Android and iOS. Anyone downloading the app will have to wait, though; sign-up spots are severely limited.

BBM on Android.
(Credit: Screenshot by Campbell Simpson/CNET Australia)

Both the Android and iOS versions of BlackBerry's popular instant-messaging service are now available on the Play Store and the App Store, respectively. The instant-messaging app is a rival to Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Viber and other dialogue-oriented social media services.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) boss Andrew Bocking told CNET that there was no dominant player in mobile messaging and that BlackBerry was responding to demand from its established user base for iOS and Android apps. BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, claims upwards of 60 million users on the existing BBM service for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets.

BBM's messaging interface.
(Credit: Screenshot by Campbell Simpson/CNET Australia)

BlackBerry said over 6 million people pre-registered accounts for the new apps on BBM.com. These users will be able to log into their accounts instantly, but anyone else will have to wait in a queue to gain access; when the apps are launched, a prompt will ask for the owner's email address, and anyone not pre-registered will be told to wait for an email when they have "reached the front of the line".

The app from BlackBerry cites "incredible demand" for accounts as the reason for the delay, but it is likely that a staggered roll-out, with new users slowly and continually allowed to access BBM, will ease the strain on server hardware.

Strangely, anyone with an existing BlackBerry ID, from owning or using a BlackBerry smartphone in the past, is not pre-registered to use the service, despite it having existed for several years solely in the BlackBerry ecosystem.

BBM on iOS.
(Credit: Screenshot by Campbell Simpson/CNET Australia)

BlackBerry Messenger was originally slated for a September launch, but a leaked Android copy was distributed early online. Similarly, the BBM iOS app went live in Apple's App Store in India, Malaysia and other regions before the scheduled date. BlackBerry pulled the Android version, citing unforeseen errors with the app, and delayed the launch to rewrite code.

Via CNET.com.au



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Im Batman posted a comment   
Australia

Funny, you can understand a new company going for a slow roll out, as they do have a limited server capacity. But Blackberrys BBM capacity from years was back was huge, they would be able to easily handle the demand of sign ups.

Yes BBM had a massive user base...60M exisiting users, but what is the number of active users, that will show how it compares to the other services going around.

Will be interesting to see the numbers in a few months after the buzz has faded.

 

gregory.opera posted a reply   
Australia

What will truly be interesting is what will happen with this in the long-term...

It's no secret that BlackBerry are in a lot of financial trouble and as I type this, BlackBerry are in the process of being bought-out.

As I recall, BlackBerry recently stated that they were withdrawing from the consumer market... Which is in stark contrast to this move (offering BlackBerry Messenger to the community).




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