ABC of BBM before it becomes available for Android and iOS

I was a BlackBerry addict before I jumped to the iPhone in 2007 and since then my BB device became my secondary device. The last BlackBerry device I used was the Bold 9900 and I still feel there is no QWERTY smartphone that can beat it apart from its advanced sibling the Q10. But as we all know the best of QWERTY devices couldn’t save RIM ( Now BlackBerry). It’s the era of touch and the company’s dedication and determination in making a superior touchbased platform the BB10 went in drain. There are many reasons for it:

  • They were too late in the game, iOS and Android had already grabbed the pie
  • There was nothing unique or promising 
  • The pro-BlackBerry business users had already opted for the iPhone or a Windows Phone
  • Lack of Apps and ecosystem 

But one thing that always worked and also a sole reason for many to buy a BlackBerry device. Is still the most sought after thing for BB users and till today Android and iOS users were nothing but envious of it. Yes we are talking about the BlackBerry Messenger aka BBM. Users of other platforms could just name substitutes of BBM with messengers like Whatsapp, Hike, Nimbuzz, Zoobe, Line etc but were never happy. But as BlackBerry has announced the advent of BBM for Android and iOS for today and tomorrow respectively, a lot is going to change in world of instant messengers. What I predict is a huge change in the numbers and proportion of messengers being currently used. BBM could very well be the most downloaded app on both the Apple App Store and the Google Android Play. I am really excited about BBM on both the platforms and would be reviewing it over the weekend.

For people who have never used the BlackBerry Messenger ever. We have a quick guide for you all:

BBM transcends the line between “business user” and “consumer” because it’s an application that brings value to businessmen and teenagers alike. With the BBM, BlackBerry has been catering to the vast consumer masses with cool, fun features and functionality, while still meeting the often-strict needs of corporations and other security-conscious organizations.

BBM uses unique “PIN” codes associated with every BlackBerry to connect other BB smartphone owners.

Currently, BB has 60 million BBM users worldwide, who cumulatively send or receive 10 billion messages a day. Nearly half of these are read within 20 seconds and that’s a huge number. And that number will grow leaps and bounds starting tomorrow all thanks to the Android and iOS user base. On the other hand, Nimbuzz has an user base of 25+ million in India, with an average user engagement of more than 120 mins everyday.

The basic BBM functionality is incredibly simple; it works just like any other IM application. But it’s the little features that really make the app. Below you’ll find a handful of basic tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your BBM:


BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) “My Profile”
First things first, you should customize your BBM profile options. To do so, simply open your BBM application and on the main screen, scroll all the way to the top and click your avatar-image, if you’ve added one, to open your My Profile options. 
If you have not added an avatar yet, or you’d like to change your current image, you can do so by scrolling over the blank “dummy” avatar or your existing image, clicking it and selecting a new image that’s stored somewhere on your BlackBerry smartphone. Position and/or crop the image as you see fit, save it, and you’re good to go.


Next, you can choose to enter a note in the box marked Personal Message. Simply save your entered text, when prompted, after you attempt to exit the BBM profile screen, then your message will be viewable by all approved BBM contacts. So, for example, you could write something like “Busy at the library. Hit me up after 5PM,” to let you friends know your whereabouts and/or schedule.

Finally, you can also choose to let your BBM contacts see what music you’re listening to at any given time, and you can share your location/time zone information. To enable these features, make sure the corresponding boxes on your BBM My Profile screen are checked and then save any changes you may have made. The appropriate information will then be viewable to contacts within your status box, in the same place your personal messages would appear.

Sharing Files, Location via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)
BBM is first and foremost an IM chat application, but it’s also a great way to share information and files stored on your BlackBerry smartphone. For example, it’s quick and easy to send an image, video clip, voice note or contact information via BBM.

Send a file in BBM by first starting a chat with the appropriate contact. Once you’re in an active chat, hit your BlackBerry Menu key–located directly to the left of the trackball/trackpad on most BlackBerrys–and then scroll down to and select the Sendoption. In the corresponding pop-up box, choose which option you want from the following: Picture; Voice Note; File; Location; Messenger Contact; BlackBerry Contact.

Depending on the option you choose, you’ll have to navigate various BlackBerry directories to find the file/information you wish to share. Then, in some cases, you can add a personal message to accompany the file. When you’re finished selecting your file of choice and entering in any personal messages, just click Send and, assuming your contact accepts the transfer, you’re all set.

BBM Chat Options: Group Chat, Custom Subjects
Initiating and conducting a BBM chat is simple; just send messages back and forth between contacts. But that’s only just the beginning of BBM chat’s full functionality.

For example, you can communicate with multiple BBM contacts at once via a group chat option. You can initiate such a chat via BBM Groups. Or simply invite all of the desired contacts into one new chat. For the purposes of this post, I’ll describe the method of adding individual contacts, since many of your probably don’t employ BBM Groups anyway.


To add contacts to a BBM chat, simply hit your BlackBerry Menu key while within a chat, scroll down to Invite Others, and then either choose each contact to add one by one or fill in the checkboxes next to each appropriate contact. Once you’ve selected the contacts you wish to add to your chat, you can confirm the choices by clicking the OK box. You’ll then be returned to the chat, and the contacts you selected will all be a part of the conversation.


Heavy BBM users with lots of open chats at one time may want to label their conversations as reminders of chat subjects. To add a custom BBM chat subject, open up the chat you wish to name and again click your BlackBerry Menu key. Then choose the Set Local Subject option and type in a title for your chat. Save the title by clicking OK, and your chats will have a new name.

The Unbiased Verdict: One of the key things with BBM is that it runs on the private network operated by BlackBerry. So BBM has its core strength of privacy, reliability and immediacy of delivery. BBM ensures that you and I can only be connected if we share our pin number. The question of reliability comes with the private network. And after a good long chat with fellow bloggers today, I feel we are all so done with Whatsapp that its time to get the best. And its just a matter of few hours before we have BBM pins published all over the World Wide Web. I am excited to grab my BBM pin for both my iOS and Android device. What about you?


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