There was a time when BlackBerry Messenger was a key selling point for BlackBerry phones… and it was exclusively available on BlackBerry devices. But in 2013 the company launched BBM for Android an iOS.

A lot has changed since then. BlackBerry doesn’t make its own phones anymore. BlackBerry OS is pretty much dead. And now the company is pulling the plug on the consumer version of BBM.

It’ll cease to exist on May 31st, 2019.

Update: BlackBerry had actually licensed BBM to Emtek in 2016, and it’s Emtek that’s discontinuing BlackBerry Messenger for consumers. 

But there’s good news for loyal BBM users: BlackBerry that it’s opening the enterprise version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBMe) to all users. It’ll be available for free from the Google Play Store starting today, and it’s coming soon to the App Store for iPhone users. 

BBMe will be free to use for the first year. After that, you’ll have to pay a subscription for access, but it’s relatively cheap, at $2.49 for a 6-month subscription. 

Our original article continues below:

BlackBerry will still offer an enterprise version of BlackBerry Messenger. But it’s getting out of the consumer instant-messaging space.

In a blog post, BlackBerry Emtek says it’s been trying to “reinvigorate” the consumer version of BBM for the last few years, but “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.”

In other words, as rivals like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and Signal have taken off, BBM has been bleeding users and BlackBerry Emtek has decided to put it out of its misery rather than continue to try propping it up.

Folks who are still using BBM, or who have used it in the past, might want to download and save any photos, videos, or other files shared through the service by May 31st, because starting in June they’ll no longer be available.

via Android Police

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2 replies on “BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down on May 31st (update: not really)”

  1. I’m not sad to see it go. When I first picked up the Blackberry Priv BBM was enabled by default. What came in over it? Spam. At least one spam message a day. I disabled that blackberry service quickly, but kept using the rest as Hub in particular was great.

    1. The BB Priv is the device they needed to make back in 2012.
      I get their strategy but QNX/PlaybookOS/BBX Operating System was a case of too little, too late. Had they pushed it out back in 2008-2010, sure they would’ve had a decent shot.

      But even the mighty Microsoft missed the boat with Windows Phone, especially with the early bad iterations coming out so late in the game. Not to mention the fuddles of the Palm devices, and the Nokia collapse.

      So many potential, so much wasted.

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