BlackBerry Messenger To Shutdown On May 31
It’s bye bye BBM, at least for the BlackBerry Messenger that most individuals know and use. After trying for nearly 3 years to compete with the likes of WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger for individual users is shutting down. Emtek, the company that was managing the BlackBerry Messenger service after an agreement with BlackBerry, announced that the service will cease operations after May 31.
It’s important to note that the BlackBerry Messenger for individuals is going away and not the entire BBM. BlackBerry also runs an enterprise version of the Messenger called BBM and that service will continue to be available. In fact, after Emtek announcement, BlackBerry too made an announcement. It said that it will open the BBM to individual users.
“Today we’re announcing that we will be closing BBM consumer service on 31 May 2019. Three years ago, we set out to reinvigorate BBM consumer service, one of the most loved instant messaging applications, as a cross-platform service where users can not only chat and share life experiences but also consume content and use payment services… Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on,” Emtek said in a statement.
The BlackBerry announcement:
“While we respect Emtek’s decision, we’re disappointed the platform did not thrive and grow as expected,” said Mark Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer, BlackBerry. “After much consideration, we decided that BBM’s loyal users should continue to have a secure messaging platform that they can trust. Starting today, users can download BBM from Android’s Google Play store. It will be available in the Apple App Store soon.”
What’s the catch? BBM will not be free, not after the first year. “BBM will be available for free for the first year. After the first year, a 6-month subscription will be available for $2.49,” the company said.
In 2016 when BlackBerry brought on board Emtek, the idea was to capitalise on the name BlackBerry, which in the good old days was associated with secure, safe and the fast messaging, to take on the likes of the WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. This is the reason why BlackBerry Messenger became a cross-platform service. But it seems that the world has moved on. At least the individual users don’t particularly care if they are chatting using BlackBerry Messenger or WhatsApp.
Emtek noted, “The technology industry, however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on.”