The Future of Blackberry Messenger

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(Originally published on notable.ca)

The inception of BBM has forever changed the way we communicate with each other. From its simple beginnings as a quick, secure, and free way for executives to communicate with each other, it has grown into so much more – it has grown into being the benchmark for communication between mobile devices, an idea which paved the way for such popular data-using instant messengers apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, Kik, Hookt, etc.

Not long ago we spoke of the rumor that RIM, in an effort to increase cash flow, was playing around with the idea of licensing out their propriety wonder-child. Design geniuses went as far as leaking “images” of said app already ported to and running on Android; needless to say RIM shot that idea down very, very fast. To paraphrase RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, RIM has no interest in licensing out BBM or any other of their proprietary IPs until, at bare minimum, BB10 is released.

So that answers that question.

Now, onto another lingering question: what does the future look like for BlackBerry Messenger?

Luckily for us, some images leaked online last week showing off BBM for BlackBerry 10, and in my opinion, it looks strangely similar to the previously popular Kik Messenger. Yes, Kik, the same messenger that was abruptly shut down by RIM last year after their meteoric rise to fame. Legal documents claimed that Kik “infringed” on numerous BBM patents. But everyone knows that it’s because Kik was the first app that truly gave BBM a run for its money.

Other than a basic UI change, the two main selling points of BBM10 is the “flow” and ability to change the background color from white to black. RIM states that by simply changing the screen from a white to a black background your battery consumption could be decreased by as much as 25%; changing the color of your BBM messages could see a 75% decrease in battery consumption.

Essentially RIM’s primary focus with BBM10 is improving battery life.

RIM also plans on releasing custom themes to further promote productivity and save battery life throughout the workday.

Honestly, I think it’s interesting what RIM is doing with BBM10. They are taking one of their core apps and primary selling features and just making it better. Will it make a huge difference when it comes to closing someone on the platform? Unlikely.

At the end of the day, RIM has their hardcore users and supporters. Those are the folk who will have the patience and stick around, regardless of a new BBM UI change.

What are your thoughts? Do you like the new BBM? Sound off below.

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