BlackBerry will soon release BBM to iOS and Android. Many people believe BlackBerry Messenger to have been BlackBerry’s one and only staple point feature against the competing platforms.
Furthermore, BlackBerry announced that BBM for iOS and Android will be free. Though, they never mentioned if there will be ways to monetize the service.
In our editorial, we detail why BlackBerry will be keeping BBM free for those platforms and how the Channels feature will be one of the ways they will monetize BBM.
A new survey from BlackBerry’s Beta Zone lends credence to this notion. The survey polls users regarding a ‘sponsored invite’ service within BBM Channels. You could think of it as the way a Twitter sponsored tweet or Facebook sponsored status works.
BlackBerry details the service in the survey:
Channel owners will be allowed to advertise their Channels by sending invites to BBM users within the channel owner’s target demographic. Users will receive the invite, and be able to preview the Channel, then choose to subscribe or decline the invitation to subscribe. This will be a limited ad unit, with users never receiving more than 3 sponsored invites in a single month.
The survey continues asking where the best placement for the invites would be within BBM. If you have a Beta Zone account you can participate in the survey here.