BBM (software)

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BlackBerry Messenger
BlackBerry Messenger logo.png
Stable release / March 13, 2013; 6 years ago (2013-03-13)[1][2]
Operating systemBlackBerry OS
BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry Tablet OS
Available inMultilingual
TypeInstant Messaging Client

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is a proprietary Internet-based instant messenger and videotelephony application included on BlackBerry devices that allows messaging (and videocalls for BlackBerry 10 smartphones) between BlackBerry users. It was developed by the manufacturer of the BlackBerry, BlackBerry Limited (formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (RIM)). Messages sent via BlackBerry Messenger are sent over the Internet and use the BlackBerry PIN system, so communication was only possible between BlackBerry devices until 2013. There are 60 million BBM users worldwide and BlackBerry infrastructure handled 30 petabytes of data traffic each month by early 2013.[3]

The service communicates over the phone's Internet connection using the mobile phone network. A wireless LAN ("Wi-Fi") network connected to the Internet may also be used to send messages, most service providers allow sign-in to BlackBerry Messenger if you have a BlackBerry data plan.[4]

Exchanging messages is possible to a single person or via dedicated discussion or chat groups, which allow multiple BlackBerry devices to communicate in a single session. In addition to offering text-based instant messages, BlackBerry Messenger also allows users to send pictures, voicenotes (audio recordings), files, location on a map and a wide selection of emoticons and the top spec devices can even make videocalls over the WiFi or mobile network.

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.

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.

With the release of BlackBerry Messenger 7.0 in December 2012, voice chat was introduced. The new feature is called BBM Voice Call.

BlackBerry Messenger 7.0.1

The new release of BlackBerry Messenger 7.0.1 on March 11, 2013 comes up with new features, including:

  • A new selection of emotions is integrated
  • Allows user to Free Call over WiFi
  • Works on OS 5.0, 6, 7.0, and 7.1

Version History

Version Released Notes
7.0.1 March 11, 2013 Current version.
7.0.0 February 24, 2013 N/A
6.2.0 August 29, 2012 N/A
6.1.0 N/A N/A
6.0.1 N/A N/A
6.0.0 N/A N/A
5.0.1 N/A N/A
5.0.0 N/A N/A
Version Released Notes October 21, 2013 N/A
N/A September 21, 2013


First release for Android: 12:00 NZST (Pulled Out)
Version Released Notes October 24, 2013 N/A October 21, 2013 N/A September 22, 2013


First release for iOS: 00:01 NZST (Pulled Out)


BlackBerry Messenger is widely reputed for its uptime and reliability.[5][6] However, from October 10 – 12, 2011, those using the service within North America, Europe, the Middle-East and Africa were widely affected by an outage at provider RIM's UK headquarters in Slough, Berkshire. BlackBerry Messenger was reported to be unavailable, seriously affecting the company's reputation.[7][8]


  • Make video calls over Wi-Fi or the mobile network on the latest smartphones (BlackBerry 10).
  • Send and receive messages with unlimited length.
  • Choose a personal BBM display picture and status.
  • Real-time confirmations when messages are delivered and read.
  • Share photos, videos and more with multiple contacts at once.
  • Add contacts by scanning QR Codes, using NFC technology or sharing PINs.
  • Send music files.
  • Create and join groups where you can share and discuss lists, photos etc.
  • Share location.
  • Free Call BBM contacts over Wi-Fi.

Upgraded BBM

The latest version includes:

  • 16 New Emoticons.
  • BlackBerry ID Integration – Simplifies OS and device upgrades.
  • BBM Voice – Talk or text, the choice is yours

Trademark conflict with BBM Canada

In late December 2011, the broadcast ratings provider BBM Canada (which has maintained the BBM trademark in Canada since 1944) has asked Research in Motion to cease using the BBM initialisation to describe the BlackBerry Messenger service, or finance the cost for BBM Canada to change their branding in exchange for the use of the BBM initialisation, or face further legal action.[9] The suit was dismissed in 2012 by Canadian federal courts as being without merit,[10] and BlackBerry uses the terms "BBM" and "BlackBerry Messenger" equivalently and interchangeably, as seen in in the company's official website for the service.

Availability on other mobile operating systems

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced on May 14, 2013, that BlackBerry Messenger will be available on iOS and Android in the Summer of 2013.[11] This will mark the first steps of Blackberry Messenger reaching beyond its own platform, as it has never been available on competing hardware before.

It was rumoured that BlackBerry Messenger would launch on June 27, 2013 for Android and iOS.[12] This was later denied by BlackBerry and an actual release date was yet to be announced.[13]

On June 21, 2013, A BlackBerry Messenger application was spotted on the Play Store. However, it turned out to be a fake.[14]

A World Wide release for BBM Android is slated for September 21, 2013, officially announced by Blackberry, and will work on Android 4.x.x (Ice Cream Sandwich & above)[15]

BlackBerry confirmed that BBM for iPhone would release on September 22nd, a day later after the official Android release and will work on iPhones running iOS 6 & later. [16] 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.[17]

BBM was released on iOS and Android on 21st October 2013. After just 8 hours of it's release on iOS and Android, the download count reached 5 million users already. BBM is currently now the No. 1 free app in the App Store. [18]

Features that would be available on other mobile operating systems

For now BBM for Multi-Platform will offer Personal Chats, Group Chat up to 30 people, Status Updates and can send or receive messages up to 2000 Characters. Blackberry plans to integrate BBM Channels, BBM Voice and BBM Video to its application on Android and iPhones towards the end of 2013.[19]


  1. ^ "BlackBerry World - BlackBerry Messenger". Retrieved 2013-09-10.
  2. ^ "BlackBerry Messenger version now available". CrackBerry. April 17, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  3. ^ BlackBerry handled 30 petabytes of data monthly
  4. ^ "What do I need a Data Plan for?". Research In Motion Limited. Retrieved July 31, 2012. |first= missing |last= (help)
  5. ^ "Why BlackBerry: Messaging – a Collective testimonial of BlackBerry users". BBerryDog Forum.
  6. ^ "new iMessage service a rival for BlackBerry Messenger".
  7. ^ "BlackBerry service crash affects BBM messaging for millions". The Guardian. October 10, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  8. ^ "Research In Motion on Twitter: post on 10 Oct 2011 at 15:15 BST". Research In Motion.
  9. ^ Marlow, Ian (December 23, 2011). "RIM asks court to dismiss BBM trademark lawsuit". The Globe and Mail. Canada. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "RIM BBM Lawsuit".
  11. ^ BlackBerry to launch BBM on iOS and Android this summer
  12. ^ BBM for Android and iOS to be released June 27th (Rumor)
  13. ^ BlackBerry denies Android and iOS June 27th launch
  14. ^ BlackBerry Messenger fake hits Play Store
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Esposito, Dom. October 22, 2013. Mashable "5 Million People Downloaded BBM for iOS, Android in Just 8 Hours"
  19. ^ "Blackberry launches its Chat App BBM for Android and iPhones". Retrieved 21 September 2013.

Further reading

External links