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Why BBM for Android, iOS success will be short-lived

Al Sacco | Oct. 30, 2013
The new BBM for Android and iOS apps might not be compelling enough to make the average iOS or Android user switch from their messaging apps of choice. Here's why.

BBM's Advantages - or Lack Thereof
BBM for BlackBerry offers a unique Channels feature, as well as BBM Voice and BBM Video, which let you make free phone and video calls using the app. But these features have not yet debuted on the cross platform version, and you may have to pay for one of all of them when they are released "within months." So these are not advantages for BBM, either - not yet, at least.

You can only use BBM on one device at a time, and that's a disadvantage for me compared to Kik. I use multiple devices, and I want to be able to use my main messaging app on all of them.

Then there's performance. For the most part, BBM works well for me, but I have had a few issues with message delivery and delays. I occasionally have similar issues with Kik, but the fact that my BBM experience has not been seamless sticks in my mind as a disadvantage — it doesn't make me more likely to switch from another messaging app.

And BBM doesn't work on Android tablets or iPod touch devices.

The true value of BBM may be in locales where BlackBerry still has a significant user base, such as Indonesia, because those users have much more incentive to convince their non-BlackBerry contacts to employ BBM.

But personally, I'm not sold on BBM, and I though I'm currently using it as my main messaging app, the Kik icon is still sitting on both my iPhone and Android home screens, giving the BBM icon the stinkeye. I'm already losing interest in BBM, and unless BBM gets some compelling new features in the very near future, it's only a matter of time before I switch back to Kik.

The future of BBM isn't clear at this point, but based on my own impressions and feedback from my readers and Twitter followers, I'm doubtful that the service can continue its forward momentum. It just doesn't offer enough advantages over other established cross-platform apps.


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