In Tech

BlackBerry launches social network based on Messenger

According to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, BBM has 60 million monthly active users, and customers send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day.

CEO Thornsten Heins unveiled the new BlackBerry 10 platform earlier this year to much fanfare and generally positive reviews.

CEO Thorsten Heins unveiled the new BlackBerry 10 platform earlier this year to much fanfare and generally positive reviews.

BBM lives!

BlackBerry Messenger, one of the most beloved features of BlackBerry owners, is coming to Android and iOS. CEO Thorsten Heins announced today at the BlackBerry developer conference in Orlando that the apps would be available this summer.

In addition, a new featured dubbed “BBM Channels,” which as explained during Heins’ keynote enables users to subscribe to various content feeds such as The Goo Goo Dolls, Mercedes Benz and Alicia Keys (hopefully she’s hidden her iPhone), could extend the service beyond its text messaging roots, and lay the foundation for a mobile social network of sorts.

According to Heins, BBM has 60 million monthly active users, and customers send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day. Half of all messages are read within twenty seconds, which he notes is “an incredible level of engagement.”

Approximately 5,000 developers are in Orlando for BlackBerry World, the company’s annual conference focused on the company’s platform. BlackBerry 10 was announced earlier this year to much fanfare. Heins continues to attempt to improve financial performance (
“We have reached solid ground with this company”). Many are reporting that the new Q10 and Z10 smartphones are off to a good start, while others are citing production cuts. Meanwhile, the stock (TSE:BB) is up 30% year-to-date, perhaps indicating investors are liking what they are seeing.

In addition, Heins unveiled the BlackBerry Q5, a lower-end phone with a physical keyboard. Targeted at emerging markets, the Q5 will ship in July in four colors, and run the newly released 10.1 version of the BlackBerry operating system.

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Clinton Stark
Clint is based in San Francisco and has produced videos for Stark Insider since 2006. Film projects recently completed include short MORADO shot in the Baja, doc THE ART OF HALL WINES in Napa, and music video WRONG'S WHAT I DO BEST at the San Francisco Art Institute. He regularly writes about Canon DSLR and filmmaking. His Broadway features have garnered praise, including SHREK UNMASKED which is the most viewed BTS video for the musical on YouTube. In addition he's worked with DreamWorks, Disney on Ice, and Cirque du Soleil, among others. Interview highlights include James Franco, Gia Coppola, Colbie Caillat, Vincent Kartheiser, Dana Carvey, and Dany Boyle. Clint is a member of ATCA and covers the SF theater scene. He also writes about Napa and wine, and Silicon Valley news and trends. More: Clint's story...