With last week’s release of BBM for Apple iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, BlackBerry seems to be on to a winner with its classic instant messaging system. But the company formerly known as RIM is apparently not keen to sit back and let the service just coast along, with plans for video and voice sharing features confirmed as in the works.
Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice-President of BBM for BlackBerry has stated that video and voice sharing services for BBM, which are currently available to BlackBerry users only, are also coming soon to the Apple and Android platforms “within months”.
This could be the next step for the BBM service and allow BlackBerry a way of making some revenue from the currently free app.
Currently BBM is flying high with over 10 million user downloads made within its first 24 hours, but with BlackBerry itself being a manufacturer having a tough time we are sure that the company will do what it can to make the app a revenue success as well as a commercial one.
The free messaging app area is very much abuzz at the moment with current leader WhatsApp paving the way, but with competition from BBM, Facebook, Viber and even Apple’s iMessage it’s hard to say how the future will pan out for BBM on Android and iPhone
Voice and video chats are looking set to be the next frontier of free service for smartphone users, but along with these changes there will have to be a change in the way mobile networks offer tariffs and contracts – if everyone starts using free apps to make voice calls instead of the traditional manner, networks will lose out.
EE in the UK is already leading the way with its unlimited calls and text bundle contracts which are priced based on the size of the data allowance, with unlimited offerings of call minutes and texts coming as standard.
Whilst talking about the future of BBM Bocking said, “It’s definitely a free service,” whilst speaking to The Morning Edition last Friday. “We have other ideas on how to monetize that service.”