BBM officially went multi-platform in October, and while the reception has been pretty great, the BBM team at BlackBerry has promised more for iPhone, and Android users in the coming weeks, and months. Some of the features that are lacking from BBM on iPhone and Android include BBM Voice, BBM Video chatting, and the newly released, BBM Channels. Which will come first, though? Which new feature should come first?
At the moment, BlackBerry’s official stand with regards to the order of a multi-platform launch of BBM Voice, Video, and Channels coincides with Thorsten Heins’ statements from the BlackBerry Live keynote in May:
“We will roll out feature parity throughout the rest of year, including BBM Voice, Screen Share, Video, and of course, BBM Channels.”
Aside from the fact that the feature parity for multi-platform BBM won’t happen “throughout the rest of the year” (it’s the second week of December, and we highly doubt they’ll get any of these features out before 2014), the quote from Heins doesn’t exactly tell us which will be first. Also, who knows if with a new CEO, the BBM team has decided to change up the order of releases to accommodate problems with a certain feature, demand; etc.
What will we see first on BBM for iPhone, and Android? What would you like your friends, and family members to have access to first? The case can be made for any of these features to be first, so let’s take a look at the pros of releasing each before the other.
BBM Voice, Video, and Screen Share – Communication is key
We can’t necessarily assume that these three features will roll out at the same time for the multi-platform BBM, but for the sake of keeping this post relatively short, let’s go with the assumption they will be. An addition of Voice, Video, and Screen Share is the biggest update BBM can add to help distance themselves from the competition in the communications department.
Certain messaging apps have delivery, and read receipts (think WhatsApp, Kik; etc), while other messaging apps have voice/video calling, and screensharing (think Skype). To this moment, only one mobile messaging app, aside from BBM on BlackBerry 10, can do voice/video calling, screen sharing, and have a messaging experience with anything similar to BBM’s D’s and R’s, and that’s Google Hangouts. BBM needs to capitalize on the fact there’s only one other app like it, that has all these features, and release a Voice, Video, and Screen Share update before anything else. You can bet even more users will want to sign up for BBM when they do.
BBM Channels – BlackBerry’s social network
Channels is said to be BlackBerry’s way of monetizing BBM down the line. By getting brands, and different companies on board, BBM Channels does realistically have a shot of becoming just that for BlackBerry. Being only on BlackBerry devices is not enough for many brands, though. Expanding this social network to iPhone, and Android will not only bring more support from the outside, but can definitely help BBM stick out from other messaging apps. Socialites love having their online footprint in as many places as possible, and with the added support of Channels, BBM may become an even more attractive option for their messaging needs.
We want to hear what you think! Vote in the poll below, and let us know why you chose that option in the comments.