BBM coming to iOS and Android in mid-2013

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Apart from revealing the BlackBerry Q5, another big announcement is that its proprietary BBM messaging service will finally be open to iOS and Android this coming summer. Previously, BBM was a BlackBerry device only service. You also had to subscribe to BlackBerry BIS service to be able to use BBM. Though BlackBerry has relaxed is strict requirements for BBM with the BlackBerry Z10 where users can that use BBM on a standard data plan without the need for BIS.

BBM will be available for iOS 6 and Android devices running on 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above. For a start, the BBM service will offer single and group chats up to 30 people with the ability to share photos and videos. In terms of BB Pin invite, Android users will get an added advantage of inviting new contacts through NFC. The BBM video and voice chat feature are not mentioned but looks like it will be rolled out later in phases.

The thought of BBM being available on all platforms have been rumoured for quite sometime now. With the rise of cross platform instant messaging service such as WhatsApp, Line, WeChat & KakaoTalk, it only makes more sense for extend BBM’s reach to stay relevant. With most users being comfortable with their current IM, it would be an uphill task for BlackBerry to poach new users from its non-BlackBerry platforms. If only BlackBerry has made this move earlier when there isn’t many players in the IM space.

For iOS and Android users out there, would you make a switch to BBM?

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