RIP BBM

The consumer edition of BBM, formerly known as BlackBerry Messenger, will be closed on 31 May 2019.

BlackBerry Messenger was launched on 1 August 2005 and initially only worked on BlackBerry devices.

It grew in popularity, and In May 2011 RIM claimed there were 43 million active BlackBerry Messenger users worldwide.

While the smartphone market was changing, BlackBerry held back the release of its iOS and Android versions as a way to protect its device sales.

After it started to lose market share to other messaging platforms, BBM was officially released on iOS and Android in October 2013.

Although it gained tremendous traction initially – with over 10 million downloads in the first day of release – it was too late as the tide has shifted in favour of WhatsApp.

BBM Consumer closing next month

Emtek, which is currently developing BBM Consumer under license from BlackBerry Limited, said it will be closing the 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,” Emtek said.

“We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date.”

The company said despite its substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on.

“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.

The paid enterprise edition of the service, called BBM Enterprise, will continue to operate and be developed by BlackBerry Limited.

Now read: BBM complies with RICA in South Africa – CEO

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RIP BBM