HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
NEWS & INFORMATION FOR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASERS. UPDATED 7 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Microsoft/Windows / BBM Branches into Twitter Territory
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
BBM Branches into Twitter Territory with Channels Feature
BBM Branches into Twitter Territory with Channels Feature
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
NOVEMBER
27
2013

BlackBerry is trying to build on the popularity of its free BlackBerry Messenger app. On Wednesday, the struggling mobile device maker announced it is launching a new mobile social network called BBM Channels.

Each channel is a page of messages and updates that connect to a given BlackBerry ID, a one-to-many broadcasting format that is being compared to Twitter. Messages can be up to 400 characters, and can be limited to one's BBM contacts or opened to other users. Comments can be limited or subject to approval, and chats with non-contacts can be turned off.

In its rollout, the BBM Channels service is targeted primarily at businesses, even though many of the millions of users that downloaded BBM Messenger obviously were not representing businesses. Business channels can promote their existence through sponsored posts, invites, QR codes in ads, or BlackBerry's own index of featured channels. Businesses can employ BlackBerry analytics to measure user responses, and a BlackBerry Social Media Console service is available to integrate BBM Channels campaigns with the large social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook.

How Positioned?

Ramon Llamas, research analyst at industry research firm IDC, described the new service as "interesting" but raising questions. He noted that many consumers are fans of businesses, so the service will be B2C as well as B2B, even though it is oriented toward businesses.

A key question about the new service, he said, is "how BlackBerry is going to position this," such as whether it will treated as an actual social service between individuals and businesses, or primarily a business-driven service that includes individuals in its audience. A related question is how it will differ from other social networks, such as Twitter, and whether there is sufficient added value so that users and businesses will participate in Channels in addition to Twitter, Facebook and other venues.

Finally, Llamas pointed out, there's the eternal question of "how will they make money?" The assumption, he said, "is that they'll charge companies" for at least some levels of the service.

iOS and Android Versions

BlackBerry said it is in discussion with smartphone makers in emerging markets to have the service pre-installed on those phones. The first release of BBM Channels is targeted at BlackBerry 10 and a few older BlackBerry phones, and versions for iOS and Android are expected soon. A Web version is already available for any user with a BlackBerry ID e-mail address.

BBM Channels is the latest in a series of steps by the company to turn itself around. Earlier this week, three senior executives left the company, including the chief financial officer. Several weeks ago, CEO Thorsten Heins was replaced by interim CEO John Chen.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry released a version of BBM for Apple's iPad and iPod. In October, a version of BBM was released for Android devices and the iPhone, which resulted in about 10 million downloads of the free app within 24 hours.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY INTEREST YOU
ISACA® offers a global community of more than 115,000 IS/IT constituents in over 180 countries. We develop and deliver industry-leading certifications, education, research and business frameworks. We equip individuals to be leaders in the fast-changing world of information systems and IT - Learn More>
MORE IN MICROSOFT/WINDOWS
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
An easily avoided security lapse -- failure to use two-factor authentication on a single server -- is being blamed for the massive computer breach that hit JPMorgan Chase this past summer.

ENTERPRISE HARDWARE SPOTLIGHT
Flying under the radar just before Christmas, HP has launched a new version of its Chromebook 14, most notable for its touch screen and full high-definition display, plus more powerful specs.
© Copyright 2014 NewsFactor Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.