BlackBerry has been trying to get back its mobile market share. Part of this strategy was to create BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android and Apple. BBM is probably the best messenger app out there, but due to Android and Apple’s increased popularity, BBM has fallen in popularity. However, even before the official release, BBM on Apple and Android definitely has a demand. BlackBerry wasn’t going to just keep the old BBM either. For BlackBerry users, they added Voice and Video chat over Wi-fi. And then for the BB10 phones, they added Screenshare through BBM. As an IT person and an app developer, this is a very valuable feature, because user sometimes can’t explain what they are doing when an error happens. Sometimes it just isn’t an error, but the user not doing what they are supposed to be doing. Now, the latest addition to BBM is BBM Channels, which is what happens when “Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook have a love child”. BBM Channels also the channel owner to post 400 character messages, with or without photos. Anyone can subscribe to the channel and get updates in their BBM when things are posted to the channel. And beyond the posts, the channel can also have chats for discussion. I believe that the end goal for BBM Channels is for BlackBerry to create another revenue stream as companies and businesses create channels for people to subscribe. And since everyone (except Windows) can now get BBM, the user base is huge.
After I did some updates to my Meetup for BlackBerry 10 app, I created a BBM Group for support. When anyone emailed me a question about the app, I sent them a request to join the group. I would also have to send them a personal request to BBM them directly. With the channels, I can just broadcast updates about my apps to anyone who has subscribe to the channel and people can subscribe by simply clicking on a link or entering the PIN number.
The url for connect to BBM pins is “http://www.pin.bbm.com/” + plus your channel pin “C004DD717”. There are a couple of steps, because it goes to BlackBerry’s site and then asks you to open it in either your existing BBM app or to download the latest one.
The channel also provides a QR code, just like a regular BBM account, so if someone is standing next to you, they can scan your QR code to subscribe to the channel. And of course, if someone is a BBM contact, you can invite them to your channel directly.
I plan on using the channel for updates for the app, but I will probably also link to blog post like these in the channel. Can’t hurt with driving traffic to my blog. I has to create a new logo for m site, because I lost the files for the old one. It took a little while to get the light bulb right and I’ll probably mess around with it again in the future, since I now of the Photoshop files. As part of the channel, I added the icon for the Meetup for BlackBerry 10 app. I plan to add any other icons for the next apps that I release as well. So, now I need to get back to working on the apps.