BBM To Close End Of May

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The king is dead, long live the king? Consumer version of BBM will be axed, as enteprise addition opens to everyone

The company now managing the consumer version of the once mighty messaging platform (BBM) has confirmed it is being killed off at the end of May.

That said, BlackBerry retained the enterprise version called BBMe, and the good news is that BlackBerry has said it will open up BBM Enterprise to non-enterprise people, but they have to pay a $2.50 subscription fee for every six months.

BBM was one of the pillars of BlackBerry (then called Research in Motion) after the Canadian firm introduced the BlackBerry Messenger (later BBM) in 2005. The encrypted instant messaging service was an instant hit, despite the fact that BlackBerry kept BBM firmly anchored on its BlackBerry handsets until 2013.

Saying goodbye

BBM was finally released onto iOS and Android systems in 2013, and even Windows Phone got its own BBM app in 2014.

This further increased its popularity, despite the waning fortunes of Blackberry in the smartphone market.

In 2016 BlackBerry took the decision to farm out the consumer version of BBM to Indonesian firm Emtek.

And now Emtek has confirmed that the consumer version of BBM will be killed off, in a blog post entitled “Time to Say Goodbye.”

“Today we’re announcing that we will be closing BBM consumer service on 31 May 2019,” said Emtek. “Three years ago, we set out to reinvigorate BBM consumer service, one of the most loved instant messaging applications, as a cross-platform service where users can not only chat and share life experiences, but also consume content and use payment services.”

“We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date,” it said. “The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on.”

“Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on,” Emtek aded. “We are grateful for your support and wish to thank everyone, especially our users, partners, and employees, for being part of the BBM consumer service journey.”

BlackBerry lifeline

“We hope you will cherish many fond memories of BBM consumer service that helped shape messenger platforms to become what they are today,” it concluded.

But the news that Emtek is ‘sunsetting’ the consumer version of BBM, will be tempered after it was reported that BlackBerry is opening up its enterprise version (BBMe) to everyone.

The platform will be available for both Android and iOS users, but there is a $2.50 subscription fee for every six months.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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