BlackBerry may not be doing so well when it comes to selling smartphones of its own, but its BBM messenger service that can also be used on Android and iOS devices is certainly popular, having topped 40 million users in the two months since it launched on the two platforms.
BBM fans should be happy to hear that BlackBerry plans to further upgrade the software next year with some interesting features including BBM Voice, Channels, faster and easier sharing and more emoticons.
BBM Voice will let users call their BBM contacts anywhere in the world free of charge – or at least they wouldn’t be paying for long distance charges, and instead they’d pay just for the data connection required for calls.
With BBM Channels, users will be able to discuss on various topics with other BBM users, whether or not they’re in their contact list or not. The feature will basically set up online meeting places where conversations happen.
More interestingly, BBM will let users share photos, voice notes and location “faster and easier.” When it comes to location sharing, there’s a time limit users will be able to enable so that the app only uses their locations for a preset amount of time.
Finally, “lots of new emoticons” are coming – 100 new ones in all – in case you tend to use plenty of them in your BBM chatting sessions.
The features are currently in testing on Android, iOS, and on BlackBerry 10, and will be rolled out in app updates in the following months.
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Google should be keeping an eye on them