BBM (software)

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BBM
BlackBerry Messenger logo.png
Developer(s)BlackBerry Ltd. (2005–2019)
Emtek (2017–2019)
Initial releaseAugust 1, 2005; 14 years ago (2005-08-01)
Stable release
10.15.7.5
Operating systemBlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 10 Mobile, Nokia X
Replaced byBBM Enterprise
TypeInstant messaging client
LicenseFreemium
Websitebbm.com

BBM, formerly known by its full name BlackBerry Messenger, was a proprietary mobile instant messenger and videotelephony application included on BlackBerry devices that allows messaging and voice calls between BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile users. The consumer edition for iOS and Android, BBM Consumer, was developed by Indonesian company Emtek under license from BlackBerry Limited (formerly known as Research In Motion). The consumer edition for BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10, as well as the paid enterprise edition, called BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected), were developed fully by BlackBerry Limited. BBM Consumer shut down on 31 May 2019,[1] however the paid enterprise version of the software, BBMe, is still running.

Messages sent via BBM were sent over the Internet and used the BlackBerry PIN system. In the past, many service providers allowed sign-in to BBM using a dedicated BlackBerry data plan.[2] Exchanging messages was possible to a single person or via dedicated discussion or chat groups, which allowed multiple BlackBerry devices to communicate in a single session. In addition to offering text-based instant messages, BBM also allowed users to send pictures, voicenotes (audio recordings), files (up to 16 MB), share real time location on a map, stickers and a wide selection of emojis.

Communication was only possible between BlackBerry devices, until late 2013 when BBM was released on iOS and Android systems. Over 300 million Stickers were shared. Daily, approximately 150,000 BBM Voice Calls were placed. There were more than 190 million BBM users worldwide as of 2015,[3] and BlackBerry infrastructure handled 30 petabytes of data traffic each month by early 2013.[4]

BBM was the original "mobile-first" messaging service,[5][6] and was popular for a while before it started to lose out to rivals.[7] As of April 2016, Indonesia was the only country where BBM was the most popular messaging app – installed on 87.5% of Android devices in the country.[8]

History[edit]

BlackBerry Messenger was launched on August 1, 2005.[9][10]

With the release of BlackBerry Messenger 5.0, BlackBerry allows users to use a QR Code to add each other to their respective friends lists rather than using only numeric PIN identification or an email address associated with the user's BlackBerry. Recent BlackBerry devices can also exchange BBM contacts using Near Field Communication technology. Users can also set animated gif pictures as their display pictures,[11][12] although animated pictures have a 32KB size limit.[13][14]

The release of BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 introduced additional traits. This update is focused on social communication mediums, including 'BBM Connected Apps', which allow the user to invite friends to share their favourite BlackBerry Applications.

Older logo

In late-December 2011, the audience measurement company BBM Canada sued RIM for infringing its trademark of "BBM" by using it as an initialism for BlackBerry Messenger; BBM Canada used it as an initialism for its former name, the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement. The company cited that it had received phone calls from users who believed that they were connected to RIM. However, RIM asked for the case to be dropped, as the two organizations were in different industries.[15] The suit was dismissed, and BBM Canada ultimately re-branded as Numeris.[16]

With the release of BlackBerry Messenger 7.0 in December 2012, voice chat (BBM Voice Call) was introduced.

BBM Protected, a "secure" encrypted enterprise-level messenger, was launched in June 2014.[17]

On June 27, 2016, it was announced that Indonesia-based Emtek Group had acquired the licensing rights for BBM. BlackBerry Limited would provide the BBM API to Emtek as part of the six-year, $207 million deal.[18] In 2017, the BBM servers moved from a data center in Canada to a Google Cloud Platform-based data center in Asia.[19]

On April 18, 2019, BBM announced that they will discontinue the BBM for consumer service globally on May 31 that year (users can switch to a paid BBMe, the enterprise version of the messenger).[20][21]

Reliability[edit]

BBM has been widely reputed for its uptime and reliability.[22][23] However, on October 10, 2011 users of the service in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa were widely affected by an outage at provider RIM's UK headquarters in Slough, Berkshire. The outage lasted for two days, during which BlackBerry Messenger was reported to be unavailable, thus seriously affecting the company's reputation.[24][25]

Cross-platform[edit]

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced on May 14, 2013, that BlackBerry Messenger will be available on iOS and Android in the summer of 2013.[26] This would mark the first steps of BlackBerry Messenger reaching beyond its own platform, as it had never been available on competing hardware before.

It was rumoured that BlackBerry Messenger would launch on June 27, 2013 for Android and iOS.[27] This was later denied by BlackBerry and an actual release date was yet to be announced.[28]

On June 21, 2013, A BlackBerry Messenger application was spotted on the Play Store. However, it turned out to be a fake.[29]

A worldwide release for BBM on Android was slated for September 21, 2013, which was officially announced by Blackberry. It was also announced that the app would require Android versions not older than 4.x.x (Ice Cream Sandwich & above)[30]

BlackBerry confirmed that BBM for iPhone would release on September 22, a day later after the official Android release and would work on iPhones running iOS 6 & later.[31] However, during the worldwide rollout of BBM for Android and iPhone on September 21, 2013, 1.1 million Android users downloaded a leaked BlackBerry Messenger APK which caused BlackBerry to cease the launching of BlackBerry Messenger on both Android and iOS platforms.[32]

BBM was officially released on iOS and Android on October 21, 2013. 5 million downloads were recorded in the first 8 hours of its release. BBM, in late 2013, was the No.1 free app on both the App Store and Google Play Store.[33] In total, the app had over 10 million downloads on the first day.[34]

On 24 February 2014, BlackBerry officially confirmed BBM for Windows Phone and Nokia X would be released by Q2 2014. Nokia confirmed BBM would be preinstalled on Nokia X devices.[35]

As of June 2016, BBM was no longer offered on the Windows Store.[36] On April 18, 2019, it was announced that the BBM consumer service for Android and iOS will be shutting down on May 31, 2019.[37]

Non-BlackBerry features[edit]

For now BBM for Multi-Platform will offer Personal Chats, Group Chat up to 250 people, Status Updates and can send or receive messages up to 2000 Characters. BBM Channels, BBM Voice and BBM Shop is available on Android and iOS.

In early January 2014, a beta update for BBM on Android was released to testers. The update included BBM Voice & BBM Channels.[38] In February 2014, an update (2.0.0.13) was officially released to Android and iOS users containing the awaited features along with some other features including new emoticons and changes including a new look for Updates featuring choices to show All, Contacts or Channels filters.

Security[edit]

On November 4, 2014, BBM scored 1 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Secure Messaging Scorecard". It lost points because communications are not encrypted with a key the provider doesn't have access to (i.e. communications are not end-to-end encrypted), users can't verify contacts' identities, past messages are not secure if the encryption keys are stolen (i.e. the app does not provide forward secrecy), the code is not open to independent review (i.e. the code is not open-source), the security design is not properly documented, and there has not been a recent independent code audit.[39][40]

The enterprise version, BBM Protected, initially scored 3 out of 7 points, but this was updated to 5 out of 7 points after additional information was provided by BlackBerry and reflected in the EFF changelog dated November 14, 2014. It lost points because past messages are not secure if the encryption keys are stolen and the code is not open to independent review.[39][40]

Userbase[edit]

In May 2011, RIM claimed there were 43 million active BlackBerry Messenger users worldwide.[41]

From 2013 to 2014, the number of BBM users increases sharply, up to over 100 million.

In 2016, BBM reached over 889 million users from all over the world and ranked 2nd in the top messaging apps (the first place belongs to Telegram) [42]

As of January 2018, there are at least 63 million monthly users in Indonesia.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down for good on 31 May | TheINQUIRER". theinquirer.net. 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  2. ^ "What do I need a Data Plan for?". Research In Motion Limited. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ "CES 2015: BlackBerry Unveils IoT Platform, Device Prices on AT&T, Momentum for BBM and New Smartwatch App (Pictures)". blackberry.com.
  4. ^ "Procurement Outsourcing BPO – Accenture" (PDF). procurian.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ http://trauring.org/history-of-messaging-where-its-going/
  6. ^ https://utbblogs.com/bbm-not-actually-competing-whatsapp/
  7. ^ http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/09/why-did-cross-platform-bbm-fall-over-so-quickly/
  8. ^ https://www.similarweb.com/blog/worldwide-messaging-apps
  9. ^ McInnes, Kyle (1 August 2005). "BlackBerry Messenger Released". BlackBerry Cool. Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  10. ^ Talbot, Matthew (2015-07-30). "Looking back at the last 10 years of BBM". blogs.blackberry.com. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  11. ^ "How to create an animated BBM display picture". CreativityKills. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  12. ^ "How to create free animated display picture for Blackberry messenger". 2014-01-02.
  13. ^ "File requirements for animated avatars in BlackBerry Messenger". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Animated BBM DP Limits". FlashDP. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ Marlow, Ian (23 December 2011). "RIM asks court to dismiss BBM trademark lawsuit". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  16. ^ "BBM Canada rebrands as Numeris". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  17. ^ https://www.techtimes.com/articles/8634/20140617/blackberry-super-secure-bbm-protected-launched-take-that-nsa.htm
  18. ^ "Acquired by Emtek Group, will BlackBerry Messenger back to being cool again?". e27. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  19. ^ https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/15/blackberrys-bbm-is-moving-from-on-site-data-centers-in-canada-to-google-cloud-in-asia/
  20. ^ BBM (2019-04-18). "BBM BlogTime to Say Goodbye – English Version". BBM Blog. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  21. ^ Brown, Shelby. "BlackBerry Messenger to shut down in May". CNET. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  22. ^ "Why BlackBerry: Messaging – a Collective testimonial of BlackBerry users". BBerryDog Forum.
  23. ^ "new iMessage service a rival for BlackBerry Messenger". technoreview.net. Archived from the original on 2011-06-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  24. ^ "BlackBerry service crash affects BBM messaging for millions". The Guardian. October 10, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  25. ^ "Research In Motion on Twitter: post on 10 Oct 2011 at 15:15 BST". Research In Motion.
  26. ^ "BlackBerry to launch BBM on iOS and Android this summer". ZDNet.
  27. ^ Roland Hutchinson. "BBM For Android And iPhone To Launch June 27th". geeky-gadgets.com.
  28. ^ "BlackBerry denies 27 June release date for BBM on iOS, Android". Wired UK. Archived from the original on 2013-06-10. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  29. ^ "PSA: This "Blackberry Messenger BBM" Published By Developer RIM Has 100k+ Installs But Is As Fake As It Gets". Android Police.
  30. ^ "BBM for Android and iPhone Available from September 21 – Inside BlackBerry". blackberry.com.
  31. ^ "Twitter". twitter.com.
  32. ^ "BBM for Android and iPhone Update". blackberry.com.
  33. ^ Esposito, Dom. October 22, 2013. Mashable "5 Million People Downloaded BBM for iOS, Android in Just 8 Hours"
  34. ^ "BBM downloads reach over 10 million on first day". CBC. 2013-10-22.
  35. ^ BBM coming to Windows Phone and Nokia X platforms. 24 February 2014
  36. ^ Coppock, Mark (2016-06-24). "Blackberry has apparently removed their Windows Phone BBM app from the Windows Store". OnMSFT.com. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  37. ^ BBM (2019-04-18). "BBM BlogTime to Say Goodbye – English Version". BBM Blog. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  38. ^ BBM beta update includes voice & channels. "BBM beta update"
  39. ^ a b "Secure Messaging Scorecard. Which apps and tools actually keep your messages safe?". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
  40. ^ a b "Only 6 Messaging Apps Are Truly Secure". PC Magazine. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  41. ^ https://www.cnet.com/news/blackberry-messenger-6-puts-the-chat-in-apps-and-games/
  42. ^ "BBM Free calls & Messages – Statistics of users". 2019-08-16.
  43. ^ https://seekingalpha.com/article/4136972-bbm-consumer-another-ace-blackberrys-sleeve

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]