If you’re signed up in BlackBerry Beta World and have BBM Channels download as part of it, you’ll be happy to know a new update has been pushed out that has tons of new features that greatly improve the app.

Thankfully, updating Beta Zone apps is infinitely easier, what with the new app released specifically for that this week. I used it for the first time, and updating BBM Channels was a breeze. Simply open the app, select whichever beta app needs the update, then click Update.

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Here’s a list of all the new features in BBM Channels.

  • Upload pictures of all sizes (BlackBerry 10 Only, already available in BBOS): square photos hindering your posts? Now you will not need to crop or edit images before posting from the device!
  • Moderate Inappropriate Comments & Posts: channel owners will now easily be able to manage channel feedback and easily remove complaints, comments, or posts all in one place!
  • Enhanced Stats Screen (BlackBerry 10 Only): channel owners now have more detail on how subscribers joined with a new, fresh-looking UI.
  • Channels Restriction by Age and Location: configured from the CMC, channel owners can now restrict access to their channel to users from specific countries or below a certain age.
  • Private Channels: create a channel for just you, and select friends and family! You can now create private channels, limiting access to only those invited by the channel owner.
  • Channel Categories: users can now specify a category when creating a channel!

Discovering new, exciting channels has never been so simple….

  • Enhanced Channels Carousel (BlackBerry 10 Only): channels carousel has a new look and feel!  Featured channels now have their own tab and users have direct access to search right from the main BBM Channels screen.
  • Geolocation Prompt: BBM Channels now prompts users for consent to use their location to enhance search results and channel discovery.
  • Search Enhancements: Users can now join a channel straight from the search results page! Check out the new indicators in your search results to learn information like number of subscribers right from search!

Wondering what these look like? Search for the ‘TIFF’ Channel to get a feel for the new enhancements. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is under way today, and we are gearing up for the screening of exciting cinematic offerings from all over the world.  Keep up with the latest from the festival on TIFF’s official channel (C000A033C).

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It’s even easier to keep up to date with the channels you love…

  • Notification Banner  (BlackBerry 10 Only, already available in BBOS): receive notifications within BBM Channels when someone replies to your comments or comments on your channel!
  • Favourite Channels (BlackBerry 10 Only, already available in BBOS): you can now select channels as favourites to receive notifications each time your favourite channel publishes new posts!
  • New Channels Home Screen (BlackBerry 10 Only): easily discover the newest, hottest channels- when you open BBM Channels you will now see the featured channels and be easily able to switch between views.
  • Improvements to Updates Feed: avatar updates experience enhanced; when your contacts change their display picture you will now be notified in the updates feed and be able to view the image in large format.