BlackBerry Messenger will hit Android and iOS over the weekend, and will look to reclaim some of the glory from its heyday. But BBM’s task has been made that much harder by the proliferation and establishment of apps such as WhatsApp, Line, Hike and WeChat. It sure has the pedigree to woo users, but will BBM succeed where many pretenders have failed, especially when the alternatives are so deeply entrenched? More importantly, will you download BBM to give it a shot or will you stick to your existing app? We weigh in.
Coming this weekend!
I may download to try it out, but doubt whether I will be using in long term. The success or (more often than not) failure of any messaging service always depends on its adoption. BBM already has a decent user base thanks to it being bundled with every BlackBerry phone out there. However, the only reason one would consider downloading the app is if either a) it offers more (potentially useful) features than other services, or b) all your friends use BlackBerry. Being the anti-social recluse that I am, the second one seems very unlikely.
When it comes to features, though, almost every other messaging service out there is on par, if not better than BlackBerry's offering. The only thing BBM has going for it is the security afforded by the fact that messages sent and received through it are encrypted. Not exactly the best of features, but it might be good for some.
However, in the end, it all depends on whether other people I know are using BBM. If not, I see no use for another messaging service eating up space on my home screen.
I would definitely try it out on my phone just to get a feel of the app on the Android platform, as I have used it briefly on an older BlackBerry. But it would in no way be my primary messaging app. Sure, I do have some friends on the BlackBerry platform, but I am already in touch with them via WhatsApp now. Apart from the Sent, Delivered and Read indications, I don't see anything else missing from WhatsApp. Also from reports floating around, the BBM experience on the Android and iOS platform will be quite handicapped when compared with the BB10 experience. There will be no video/voice calling or screen-sharing facilities for Android and iOS platforms. If it's just going to be text messaging and file sharing, then I am more than happy with WhatsApp.
At a time when there are cross-platform messaging applications oozing out of every corner of the world, the erstwhile heavyweight of the messaging world, BlackBerry Messenger is making a slightly late debut onto iOS and Android. Why would one want to miss out on it?
A few years ago there was an illness called BBM-envy amongst most Indian youth. As BlackBerry phones became more affordable, all the chatter was about BBM status messages, chatting and the likes. BBM is coming a little late to the Android-iOS party, admittedly, but this is one feature of BlackBerry that most would love to download just to see what the fuss was all about all those years ago.
I will be downloading it too. It’s too early to say whether or not the app will be a hit on other platforms, especially due to the absence of video and voice calling as well as BBM Channels, but there are some apps like these at which you look at and say, “Why not?” to yourself before hitting the download button. BBM is going to be one such app for me.
Will BBM be able to overcome WhatsApp and the likes?
Being a long time BlackBerry user before switching to other platforms, I definitely hold a soft spot for BBM. I will definitely download it and see how it works on iOS. Be that as it may, I doubt if I will switch to it as my primary instant messaging service. WhatsApp and Viber, among others, now give me all the options I need to keep in constant touch with my contacts. And everything boils down to what BlackBerry is planning to add to its cross-platform variant. If they have added everything to BBM for iOS/Android that you now see on a BB10 device, it should be good. If not, then the app may just lie forgotten in one of the many folders on my phone.
This weekend, I am looking forward to freedom. Freedom from muting, from incessant group chats, from indiscriminate adding of contacts, from threats of a free app turning paid in the near future, from unreliable message delivery, and from having to be online to block unwanted contacts. I am switching to BBM because I despise WhatsApp. I could have let WhatsApp go last year, but stuck on because of pesky folks called friends, who have remained doggedly loyal. I felt chained to it. Admittedly, the thought of being left out of plans and discussions loomed large over my decision to not quit. But I have been waiting for a get-out card for the past year and BBM looks to be it, because it’s well-established and is a household (in a manner of speaking) name. In a way, I am forcing the hand of those close to me to jump ship as well and hopefully, my manipulation will go unnoticed. Perhaps, it’s too late for BBM and I may forever be left out of impromptu weekend plans, and perhaps I am being too anal about a measly IM app, but boy does it feel good to know the chains are coming off.
Have your say? Will you be getting BBM for your Android or iOS device? Let us know in the comments.