Earlier today, BlackBerry announced the availability of BBM going cross-platform. When first launched, BBM on iOS and Android will only allow messaging and groups.

Over time, BlackBerry intends to open up the more robust features current BlackBerry users have come to love. BlackBerry also announced that BBM will be free for those platforms.

But why would they make one of the pinnacle features to a BlackBerry a free app on a competing platform? It comes down to the newly released BBM Channels.

While BlackBerry won’t be getting service revenue from BBM on other platforms, the company intends to make BBM profitable by targeting brands. BBM Channels is essentially a “Tumblr” extension for BlackBerry Messenger.

This will allow for an added revenue streams from BBM Channels. There are allegedly other features that BlackBerry intends to offer subscriptions for on the competing platforms.

BBM Channels is still in infancy, but it’s already taking off. In it’s first day, we’ve seen a few thousand subscribers. We’re certain the BBM Channels innovation will fair out much better than BBM Music.

Let us know in the comments if you think making BBM free on other platforms was a good or bad idea. Should BlackBerry make BBM a paid app?