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More and more people own smartphones with each passing day, and no matter which platform they choose to use – iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or another – one of their main uses for the device is likely to be messaging people. So much so that a proportion of the population vastly prefers messaging someone to actually calling them.

There is no shortage of options when it comes to messaging people. From email to SMS, from Skype 6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work 6 Things You Should Check First When Skype Does Not Work Most of the time, Skype just works – but every now and then you’ll run into a snag. These six troubleshooting steps will solve most common Skype problems, whether your microphone isn’t working or the... Read More to Whatsapp Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed A moment of introspection, please: What do you do more often - call people using your phone, or text them? I would bet it's the latter. For many people, texting is more convenient than calling.... Read More , no sensible and intelligent smartphone owner can possibly struggle to find a way of messaging others.

But perhaps there’s room for just one more option to add to the list – or perhaps not.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Do You Care About BBM (BlackBerry Messenger)? The company once called RiM (Research in Motion), which now trades as BlackBerry Limited, isn’t the force it once was in the world of smartphones. And it was a considerable powerhouse prior to the arrival of the iPhone and Android, particularly with business customers.

When companies started switching away from using BlackBerry handsets in favor of iPhones and Androids, the company gained a new userbase amongst the young thanks to a combination of affordable hardware and a free messaging service called BlackBerry Messenger.

BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM as it’s more commonly known, is now available to everybody BBM Finally Launches On Android & iOS; But There’s a Waiting Line BBM Finally Launches On Android & iOS; But There’s a Waiting Line The last time BlackBerry said that BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) was releasing on Android and iOS, it turned out to be a dud. Well, the wait's finally over. Read More with an iOS or Android device – as well as the few people still using BlackBerry handsets. So we want to know what your thoughts are regarding BBM…


Is the release of BBM on iOS and Android too little, too late for the company responsible? Will BBM save RiM from the dire future it seems to be facing? Can BBM compete against the free messaging apps that have emerged in the years since BlackBerry Messenger was at the height of its popularity?

Are you likely to move away from your current choice of instant messaging app to use BBM? Are you even tempted to give BlackBerry Messenger a try to see what all the fuss is about? Are you a former BlackBerry user excited to get the chance to use BBM once again?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail the We Ask You Results. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and a T-shirt. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Karen

  1. Torsten Rode
    October 31, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    BBM 2010 was better than whatapp viper skype and all are today.
    its actually better than bloomberg chat which costs a few tsd USD a month with its financial data package and its mobile .

    BBM vs Whatsapp is not Apple vs IBM its Apple vs Atari

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:19 am

      Ha, I love that comparison at the end.

  2. Allister
    October 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I use the BB Z10 with BBM and Whatsapp, but mostly BBM. I love sending jokes and vids to my friends on BBM. BBM is my preferred method of communication with my wife as well and I have not had any problems with it.

  3. Ago
    October 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Actually I do not care anymore. The statement that it is available to all IOS and Android devices is incorrect. If it would, it would be useful. Example my child has latest IPOD Touch with wi-fi - BBM is not supported there. My wife has not the latest and coolest but a bit older LG phone with Android OP. Also not supported there. So I was excited on the beginning, since my employer provides me with BB only. But since I found out that all this buzz - that it supports all IOS and Android devices is actually marketing lie - I do not care anymore. I am Canadian, but honestly - do not care how BB is doing. If I would have a choice, I would pick i-phone or good Android over BB any time.

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:18 am

      That's a good point. I was generalizing, of course, because BBM is now available on iOS and Android, but that doesn't mean everyone with those OSes will be able to get it.

      As a Canadian you're meant to be rooting for your own company!!!

  4. Tejas S
    October 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    BBM has one advantage over all other IM services. NOT EVERYONE WITH YOUR PHONE NUMBER CAN TEXT YOU ON BBM. It turns out for me that, the ability to control who texts you is a good thing. Specially having applications like True caller around, its easy for Friends of Friends to find your Cell phone number.

    • likefunbutnot
      October 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      I can (and do!) limit who can send me SMS messages. My phone provider lets me white list numbers or turn off texts entirely. Google Voice allows filtering. Every smartphone platform I'm aware of has some kind of application for call filtering as well.

      At this point that's like bragging that your car has wheels and an engine.

    • Tejas S
      November 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      I completely agree with your point. But in situations where you don't want to give away your phone number, the BBM pin comes handy. That way you don't have to block out all the unknown numbers.

  5. Shaleen
    October 31, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Over 70 million users worldwide is not a few.

    • Jon
      October 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      100 million bbm downloads in 1st week is not chump change

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Fair point. As an obvious BBM fan do you see this move to be cross-platform as a positive or negative one?

  6. Damien
    October 31, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I have Blackberry Q5 and all my friends downloaded BBM to join and create a private group. That's very cool and efficient !

  7. Jerale
    October 31, 2013 at 5:58 am
  8. Jerale
    October 31, 2013 at 5:55 am

    I already have BBM on BB10. BBM and the "keyboard" as one puts it is not the only reasons to have a BlackBerry. Before making stupid assumptions maybe give BB10 a try. BlackBerry already has 4 devices out: 2 touchscreen phones (Z10/30) and 2 keypad phones (Q5/10). There are alot of features in BB10 the competition either doesn't have or are imitating (iOS7 copied some of BB10s features). BlackBerry also has ideas for the future of mobile computing which also includes car infotainment systems (something else Apple copied). BBM on the other hand comes with new features too such as video chat, screen sharing and BBM Channels. With these things WA will be in dire trouble and Channels will have or already has the potential to compete with FB and Twitter. BBM is BlackBerry's savior for the future.

    • likefunbutnot
      October 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      I've supported Blackberries for years. I'm glad none of my customers use them any longer. They generally made me long for the awesome functionality of Windows Mobile or WebOS. As mobile devices go, being stuck with a Blackberry is like being going back in time by half a decade. Yes, they're great for E-mail and handy to manage on a fleet basis, but for the last year I had to support them I was getting daily "Why can't I do X on my phone?"-questions to which the answer was always "Because you have a Blackberry."

      No thanks.

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:13 am

      Wow, that's a bold claim at the end. Do you really think BBM has the power to save BlackBerry as a whole?

  9. Milt
    October 31, 2013 at 5:27 am

    I care very much about BBM. There's no other messaging client that does ALL the things that BBM does. Not to mention any that even come close to being as secure and private when you want it to be.

    It's rare these days to be able to say that something is "The Best" at what it does. I can say that about BBM without any shadow of doubt in my mind. In fact, I submit that it's not even right to compare it to the other ways people cam message each other. It stands alone in it's excellence.

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:12 am

      Apart from the security and privacy, what other reasons make you believe that BBM is better than the competition?

    • Milt
      November 1, 2013 at 3:50 am

      As I said previously, none of the other services can do all the things BBM can do. Video chat, voice chat, easy photo/video sharing, not having to give out your phone number, etc etc. Yes other ones can do some of those things, but not all the things BBM can do.

      That said though, these days, it's privacy and security alone is enough.

      Then combine BBM with the new, best on the market, BlackBerry 10 devices. You'll quickly see what having "The Best" at your disposal is like. After having to deal with ios and Android devices for the last while, I now look at people fumbling around with those sub-par phones, using sub-par services, and kind of feel sorry for them.

    • Dave P
      November 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Wow, you're clearly a big BlackBerry fan! I'm intrigued to know what you hated so much about iOS and Android.

  10. David
    October 31, 2013 at 4:57 am

    Have used BBM for years and still like it. The others came about because not everyone uses a BlackBerry. I have 2 and would not be without them.

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:11 am

      Am I right in thinking that for you, an existing BlackBerry user, this move to be cross-platform must be great as it means your iPhone- and Android-owning friends can now keep in touch more easily?

  11. Akshay O
    October 31, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Yes , I do care about BBM as it is the most coolest messenger ever. I am feed up of whatsapp and other messenger where there is no privacy of a person. Anyone can see when you where last online, etc. On the contrary, BBM never shows your last update. The best part is having tested BBM vs other messenger, BBM comes out to be much faster than other even in slow (2G) internet connection.

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

      Have you switched away from Whatsapp to BBM now then? Is privacy your main reason for preferring BBM?

    • Akshay O
      November 1, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Yes. About 80% I have moved from whatsapp to BBM.... I am loving it

  12. Zaki
    October 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Install it only to satisfy my curiosity.
    It was smooth for the first 5-6 hours, then my message started to be delayed, pending, for 1-2 days. Perhaps it depends on operator network, but who care? It does not happen on whatsapp, WeChat etc. It really ruined my mood as if I intentionally left the conversation.

    Nope, I'll never start to use it anymore. Only if my pal contact me I will respond.

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

      Ooh, that's not good. I suspect you've witnessed BlackBerry struggling to cope with the increased levels of demand. The thing is, it should get better, so it might be worth a second look in the near future.

  13. likefunbutnot
    October 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Not even a tiny bit! It's not even in first place among closed, proprietary systems that are tied to second-rate mobile devices.
    The problem isn't for the world to communicate with Blackberry users. The problem is that Blackberry users have to be able to communicate with the world.

    • Miguel
      October 30, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      the only thing nice about BlackBerry's is the keyboard. BBM has been replaced by WhatsApp

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:07 am

      It's not in first place because it hasn't previously been available on all platforms, but now that it is you never know what might happen.

      You wouldn't even be tempted to give it a try then?

  14. AriesWarlock
    October 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Yes! There's still people using only BBM, and it provides an alternative to other services that might charge.

    • Dave P
      November 1, 2013 at 2:05 am

      Are you a BlackBerry user who has stayed true to BBM all the way through then?

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