BlackBerry in Process of launching BBM Channels to Outrun Twitter Popularity

The BlackBerry suddenly resurfaced into discussions recently. It was once the top craze, but later there was somewhat of obscurity. Not to stay down, the company recently came back to news with the announcement of a special social network platform for BlackBerry users called the BBM channels (BlackBerry messenger). The initial announcement of this major change in its service was in May, and the company has been maintaining the deadline since then. Finally, the BlackBerry users can log in to their exclusive social network from next Tuesday. The key competitive catalyst to developing the BBM system has been the popularity of Twitter among the user base.

So, the service rolls out the new system offering features similar to Twitter, but with a customized BlackBerry feel. Users and companies would be able to develop their profiles in the network that would allow them to post updates and follow others just like the Twitter model. At the announcement of the BBM channels in May, company CEO Thorsten Heins pointed out the huge potential of the BlackBerry user base consisting of around 60 million users.  He also informed that the system facilitated about 10 billion message transactions between users everyday. With the launch of the BBM, now the millions of BlackBerry users can use an exclusive social network.

The service would be available to device owners operating on OS 5 system or any system above it. The users would be able to connect with companies and other users effectively in a closed system. The participants in BBM can exchange messages, queries, images and animated GIFs through the channels. The company closely follows the Twitter model in every aspect of its development. This reflects directly to the high popularity of Twitter and BlackBerry into the niche corporate crowd of professionals.

The company first released the Beta systems in May to evaluate the acceptance of the new protocol. At the launch of the Beta BBM channels, the CEO of the service referred to renowned users of the phone. He cited high profile users like Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton as a major primary supporter of the BBM channels. The BlackBerry CEO also stated that the Mercedes Petronas racing team members would be among the first users of BBM. BlackBerry is among the sponsors of the racing team. The global creative director of BlackBerry, Alicia Keys was also among the first proponents of the beta BBM channels.

The features of the BBM are nothing new though. Besides basing their model on the success of Twitter, the new exclusive social network also incorporates some features similar to Facebook. So, users would be able to ‘like’, comment, and share other status updates. The service would also have the usual notification system whenever there is a new comment in their posts. They would be able to choose the system of notification according to preferences. The BBM network would also have the opportunity to engage in one-to-one chatting. In addition, the brands and other users would have access to certain analytic metrics like the extent of engagement and the subscription from other users.