BlackBerry testing ads in BBM in an attempt to monetise the app

Callum Tennent
March 4, 2014

BlackBerry has been accused of being out of touch with the consumer for a while now. They’ve also posted horrendous financial reports in that same period. Here’s a development which testifies to the veracity of both of those statements: BlackBerry is toying with the idea of putting advertisements within BBM. Hmm.

Credit to the company for going down swinging. Last week we brought you news from MWC that BB are set to release not one, but two new handsets this year. That’s approximately two more than most would have predicted. Now it seems that rather than give up on BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), which lost its title as free mobile instant messaging champ with the rise of WhatsApp and iMessage, they are attempting to monetise it. If you’re going to aggravate your few remaining loyal supporters you may as well make some money at the same time, right?

BBM has always been a completely free way to communicate between BlackBerry handsets, and it has just recently expanded to iOS and Android in the hopes that former BB fans will use it, presumably out of nostalgia value, over more popular media.

The ‘Ads Experience’ is outlined in this message sent to current BBM ‘Beta Zone’ testers:

BlackBerry - BBM Ad Experience


It sounds rather similar to the ad experience we all currently endure on Twitter, with sponsored tweets and trends semi-organically permeating your newsfeed. Whilst it’s not too intrusive, it certainly is annoying. Do you feel like the BBM experience would be similar? We’ll know for sure soon enough when the app’s next update rolls out – a date has not yet been disclosed.


About the Author

Callum Tennent

International playboy/tech journalist.

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