It’s been just over a week since the launch of the new version of BBM—the instant messaging service that till then could be used exclusively on BlackBerry devices—for iOS and Android. What initially could have been Research in Motion’s umpteenth fruitless stab at making a hole in a highly saturated market has turned out to usher in 20 million new users of the BlackBerry app. If you add to that the fact that Facebook has recently expressed its interest in making a move on the brand, it seems we may be witnessing the anxiously sought resurgence of the Canadian company.
An overwhelming initial success
According to the official BlackBerry blog, there are currently more than 80 million active users that use BBM if you add the 60 million that already use it on their BlackBerry devices. To give you an idea of the magnitude of these numbers, have a look at similar recent cases: LINE achieved 40 million users within its first year, while Viber took two years to make it to 50 million.
These numbers obviously pale in comparison to the case at hand, which has vaulted BBM into the Top 5 downloads for iOS and Android and has even reached Number 1 for a few days in countries like Spain, Mexico, Italy, Turkey, and Portugal. Despite its many detractors, the BlackBerry brand must still have a lot of fuel left in it to have won such an enormous share of the market in such a short time.
Facebook on the hunt
Whether the revelations were opportune or not, the Wall Street Journal has revealed that the over the past few days several meetings have taken place between BlackBerry and Facebook people, and although the nature of the negotiations continues to be a mystery, the rumors have already started to fly about the growing interest of the social network in marketing its own smartphones.
Taking into account the fact that a large part of Facebook’s income comes via mobile ads, it really needs a new route to prosperity after the resounding flop of its Facebook Home application. Although considering the number of BlackBerry subscribers diminished for the first time since the company’s birth in 2013 and that its revenues have declined nearly 45% in the past three quarters, it would undoubtedly be a smart acquisition for both parties.
Official webpage | http://www.blackberry.com/bbm.html