I owned a couple BlackBerrys and loved them, but I had to move on when it was quite evident that RIM did not understand the smartphone market – their weaker processors and lack of memory and small screen size were no match for the available Android phone selection. Yet, this new BlackBerry company thinks that we iOS and Android users would want to use their BlackBerry Messenger service as our IM of choice. I used BBM, and loved it, but I used it very sparingly because not many of my friends sported a BlackBerry – they had already moved on to other platforms.
The “new” BlackBerry is taking a chance, giving away the one thing that truly differentiated BB from other platforms, but they have to take chances if they expect to grow their business. By allowing other platforms to use BlackBerry Messenger, it does help spread the BlackBerry name around and possibly influence a future purchase of a BB10 phone.
BlackBerry has long been a pioneer in messaging, long before iOS and Android, but Instant Messengers (IM) are a dime a dozen and the competition is mounting – is there still a real interest in BBM among the iOS and Android users? Apple has their iMessage and Google has their new Hangouts as well as the Messengers built-in by the phone manufacturer. Former BlackBerry users may want to switch back to BBM, or at least add it to their arsenal of messengers.
It will be interesting to see how many iOS and Android users decide to make the switch. Let us know in the comments if you plan to switch to BBM, stick with your current messenger, or use both of them.