Blackberry may spin off BBM, likely for sale down the road
In the wake of their relaunch earlier this year, Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins insisted Android and iOS users would see Blackberry Messenger (BBM) available on their platform of choice. His timeline of “this summer” was vague, and Summer is quickly dying away. We’ve seen hints of the product being tested, but no real world proof if its existence.
Reports now suggest Blackberry is planning to spin BBM off into its own company, perhaps a subsidiary of Blackberry. This move, if it occurs, suggests that Blackberry is simply positioning BBM as an asset. If proven a success, Blackberry could then sell it off for a healthy profit, and the operation would likely not skip a beat.
Popular messaging apps like WhatsApp are light years ahead of BBM in regard to user numbers, and asking people to make the switch is a tough proposition.
Of course, this assumes BBM really is in the works for Android and iOS. A Blackberry representative tells The Wall Street Journal “We have announced our plans to offer this trusted mobile messaging service to iPhone and Android users sometime this summer. We have made no further announcements.”
These “announced plans” have yet to come to fruition, and time’s wasting away. Popular messaging apps like WhatsApp are light years ahead of BBM in regard to user numbers, and asking people to make the switch is a tough proposition. Some users utilize multiple messaging services, giving Blackberry a little hope, but how much?
The downward spiral of
RIM Blackberry left many of their users jumping ship, and onto competing messaging services with their new platforms. While BBM was the gold standard for messaging at one point, there is no indication the world longs for it to return. There are also no plans on bringing the service to the desktop, according to the same Blackberry spokesperson. In that simple scenario, BBM wouldn’t even be more attractive than Google Hangouts, which is cross platform and OS.
Blackberry Messenger, like the platform itself, is losing ground. It also holds no promise for any unique services, or other “trump card” feature. If all we are offered is Blackberry’s unique take on messaging, is that enough?