Just one day after releasing BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android phones and iPhone, BlackBerry Limited reports that the apps have been "officially" downloaded over 10 million times, reportedly one of the best single-day openings for a mobile app to date. On the iOS side, the app darted up to be the number one free app in more than 75 countries in the first 24 hours. That's quite impressive for a BlackBerry-themed private social network on day one.
"This has been an incredible launch for BBM across Android and iPhone devices. The mobile messaging market is full of opportunity for BBM. We intend to be the leading private social network for everyone who needs the immediate communication and collaboration of instant messaging combined with the privacy, control and reliability delivered through BBM," said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, BBM at BlackBerry.
So why is this chat client such a big deal? Users can get into groups and chat away, perfect for on-the-go meetings, comparing notes with others during a trade show, or locating friends in real time in a theme park. BlackBerry promises that BBM Groups lets users invite up to 30 friends to chat together, as well as share photo albums, calendars and files. Even more, BBM is based on the PIN system, meaning users must trade PIN numbers with friends and family in order to chat.
"I have said this before, but the team here has been working incredibly hard to bring #BBM4All and I am very proud of their work. In fact, when we resumed the launch of BBM, we were able to update both the iOS and Android versions of BBM," Brocking said in a blog on Tuesday. "The BBM app for iPhone has been optimized for iOS7. We also added a new BBM chat widget in the BBM app for Android. This new feature lets you stay engaged in chats without even having to open the app. It’s a great new feature."
"While we’re excited to bring BBM to iPhone and Android – we aren’t stopping there," he added. "Work isn’t slowing down at all. We committed to delivering a BBM experience on iPhone and Android that was equal to that on BlackBerry 10. That means bringing BBM Video, BBM Voice and BBM Channels to Android and iPhone customers too. My team is still committed to bringing those features to the BBM on Android and iPhone in the near future. And we’re not stopping there – we have some great new features planned that will build on BBM as the private social network you count on for immediate conversations you can control and trust."
The BBM chat client is now available for Android phones (Google Play) and Apple's iPhone (iTunes). But don't expect to start using the service right after installation: users must first wait in line so that the network servers aren't slammed with traffic. It took 24 hours for me to get a spot, so just be patient.
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