BlackBerry Messenger Going Cross-Platform

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One of the longest-running rumors in the smartphone world has been that BlackBerry (RIM, back when this got started) would open up the much-loved BlackBerry Messenger service to users on other platforms; for as popular as BBM is with BlackBerry users, the insular nature of the service has been a significant detraction. For the longest time, it seemed like BlackBerry had no interest in such a thing, but today the company has gone ahead and put all those old rumors to rest, formally announcing the coming availability of BBM for iOS and Android.

The basic structure of BBM will remain unchanged – contacts will still be two-way opt-in, but now BBM users will have a much larger field of potential contacts to choose from. They’ll be able to invite Android or iOS users to join in their conversations with invites sent over text, email, or with Android, NFC.

Pending approval, the iOS and Android apps should be out this summer, supporting iOS 6 and Android 4.0 or higher. The apps themselves will be free to download, but we wonder if there might not be a fee attached to using BBM itself; that was one component of past rumors, but BlackBerry didn’t mention anything along that line today.

What do you think of this news? Is this progress for BlackBerry, or tantamount to admitting that its closed-doors business model is in trouble? Has the availability of other cross-platform messaging solutions already made BBM obsolete?

Source: BlackBerry
Via: BerryReview

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!