BBM Sticker Promo and New Features in the BBM Shop [VIDEO]

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In case you missed it, last week we launched an update to BBM that brought with it some improvements to the shopping experience. These changes allow you to better personalize your chat experiences and shop with ease and they’re available on Android™, BlackBerry and iOS® platforms.

New BBM Shop Features

One of my favorite improvements, other than the new look and feel, is the “BBM Top Picks” section. Here, suggested apps, games, music and services are available for download or purchase to enhance the chat experience.

Watch this quick video overview of the new BBM Shop and continue reading below for info on the new features and BBM Sticker promotion.

If you’re on an Android device, you can even download simplified keyboard applications like Zimpl which is available in English or Bahasa! Charlotta Tönsgård, member on the Board of Directors for Zimpl Technologies AB had this to say about the partnership:

“Zimpl is all about productivity and communicating with ease, values we believe to share with many BBM users. Cutting through all the noise on the app market is a big challenge for start-ups like Zimpl as well as for the end-user. Stores with carefully curated content like the one offered by BBM is a great way to address this problem”.

So if you’re looking for a different way to type on BBM for Android, definitely give this a try.

BBM Sticker Promotion

To celebrate all these changes we’re running a promotion! BBM users can take advantage of a limited time promotion on BBM Stickers. Starting December 9th at 12:01am EST, all BBM sticker packs are $0.99 USD for a limited time. That means the Christmas pack is now only $0.99 USD, Penguins of Madagascar is only $0.99 USD and Disney Frozen pack is only $0.99USD!  Stock up on sticker packs now, they’re a great way to bring some fun into your BBM chats.

For more information about the BBM update, device requirements and other features, please visit and leave us a note in the comments below with your thoughts.

Available Now: BBM For Windows Phone (Video)

BBMWindows Phone

After a short run in private beta, I’m happy to announce that BBM for Windows Phone is being publicly released to the Windows Phone store in beta starting today.

We’ve been covering the BBM story for a while on the Inside BlackBerry blog, so in case you missed all the features included in BBM for Windows Phone… swing by the original blog post for all the details.

Earlier this week, I sat down with Jeff Gadway to chat about what makes the BBM experience on Windows Phone unique and provide a micro-tutorial for getting setup and how to use the app. Watch it below:

I Hope you enjoyed the video – now go download BBM for Windows Phone for free and enjoy all the benefits outlined in the video above. To see which of your friends have recently joined BBM go to “Suggestions” on the “Invites” tab within the app. Welcome to the BBM party, Windows Phone users!

New York Times: Try BBM as an Alternate to iMessage

BBM for Android and iPhone Launch

It has been a banner year for messaging apps. With BBM now available cross platform on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and soon Windows Phone I’d like to take a look at why you should consider it as your app of choice when it comes to keeping in touch.

A recent article in the New York Times highlights alternatives to traditional SMS text messaging, which lags in features and, depending on where you live, can be very expensive. As the pioneer of free data-based messaging, BBM not only has those features but is the only major platform that can confirm your beloved messages have been sent, delivered and, most importantly, read. Even if you end up switching phones or platforms your BBM messages will be delivered when you sign in to your existing BBM account on a new device. That’s unlike Apple’s iMessage, which is the subject of a lawsuit over messages it failed to deliver to Android users.

That’s why both the New York Times and CNET suggest that you should give BBM a try:

“There are too many alternative messaging systems now to keep using iMessage,” writes New York Times columnist Molly Wood. “… try BBM — formerly known as BlackBerry Messenger — whose fans are devoted and convinced of its unshakeable security. BBM can do everything iMessage can do, but without ever touching your text messages.”

During its World-Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) yesterday, Apple didn’t address iMessage’s delivery issues, though it announced a few new features such as cross-platform voice chat and location-sharing that publications such as Gizmodo Australia noted already existed in BBM.

Also, read some of the #BBMoments shared by our large and devoted fan base every week.

BBM Groups — going beyond group chat

If you’re still not convinced, consider that BBM has advanced group collaboration that is perfect for small businesses, clubs, families and sports teams. You can share calendars, photos, files and tasks. My adult softball team uses BBM to connect. We have a calendar set up with every game that syncs to every player’s phone. A group chat lets us work on our strategy on game day – and see who will be absent. We use the lists feature to coordinate who’s responsible for bringing the cooler of post-game beverages.

Location sharing powered by Glympse integration

As I noted earlier, BBM already offers this very helpful location-sharing feature. Essentially, with BBM you can share your location at any time with another contact – this will allow them to visually see where you are on a map for a set amount of time. It also plots out your path on a map. I use Glympse with my wife, we share a car – so she can see when I leave the office and where I am on my commute to pick her up. It takes the guesswork out of “I’m on my way, be there soon” moments.

BBM Stickers — enhanced emoticons to get your point across

These emoticons are guaranteed to get a reaction. You can creatively integrate a BBM sticker into a chat when having fun. I use the massive ‘Thumbs Up’ and the huge ‘Hug’ daily. With more and more sticker packs from artists and brands coming each month, it’s easy to get hooked on sending these digital stickers.

Connect with brands and personalities on BBM Channels

BBM Channels is a unique way for you to connect with some of your favorite brands.

Security — For enterprise peace of mind

Security and privacy are part of the DNA of BBM. When it comes to security, BBM uses several layers of encryption to secure BBM messages today. TLS encryption is used to secure the connection between the device and server. This protects messages against eavesdropping and manipulation. And through that secure pipe we further secure BBM messages with a triple DES BBM scrambling key. So you have a secure message flowing through a secure pipe. Plus, with the “ultra-secure” (Engadget’s words) BBM Protected launching next month we add yet another level of encryption. Messages sent between BBM Protected users are encrypted using a public / private encryption key pair unique to those two users and controlled by the enterprise. BBM Protected will be the only secure instant messaging service to use a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library meaning that it has met a series of strict U.S. government requirements.*

Do you use BBM? Let us (and our readers) know how with #BBMoments in social media and in the comments.

*Feature initially supported on BlackBerry OS devices; available on BlackBerry 10 devices in Fall 2014. Source: List of Validated FIPS 140-1 and FIPS 140-2 Cryptographic Modules at as of May 28, 2014. For more information on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP), including FIPS 140-1 and FIPS 140-2 conformance claims that are used by some vendors that fall short of indicating NIST validation, see the FAQ document at ).

As of February 2015, BlackBerry holds 70+ security certifications and approvals from governments.

New BBM Emoticons Galore!

Updated below with a chance for you to get involved and suggest what Emoji you’d like to see in BBM.

An emoticon says 1000 words… maybe not, but I think, nothing gets your point across like an emoticon or emoji. That’s why we’ve added 100 brand spankin’ new emoticons in the new BBM release. You’ll find new smileys, new characters, new objects and a bunch more. The BBM team wants to say a big “thanks” to you, our fans, for all your great ideas. Many of the new emojis you’ll find in the new release came from your submissions to our BBM emoticon contest on our Facebook page back in December. With nearly 200 emoticons in total there are too many to talk about so we created this periodic table of emoticons to help you discover them!

emoticons list

Show your national pride with flags

Just a reminder that you can add a flag or multiple flags to your BBM Display Name or Status Message, or while you are chatting with friends and family too. A fitting way to celebrate you country during the games.

You may have noticed that there are a few new emoticons shown in our emoticon post that you don’t find in the 10.3 / 2.0 update? That’s our bad – we weren’t going to show you these ones yet since they’re coming in our next release. But now that the cat is out of the bag, we’d like some help. You’ll notice that these new emoticons don’t yet have keystroke codes so we’d like to hear what you think they should be. Hit us up on Twitter @BBM with the name of the emoticon, your keystroke suggestion and the hash tag #BBMEmoji. We’ll pick the best suggestion and add these emoticons in our next BBM release. Hope you’re enjoying the 100 new emoticons in the new version of BBM. You can expect to see more new emoticons going forward too, like…

  • Spark
  • Penguin
  • Pizza
  • Film
  • Envelope
  • Telephone

Samsung Africa Welcomes BBM: Exclusive interview and BBM Chat between the two companies

BBM conversation

In sub-Saharan Africa, Samsung and BlackBerry are working together to promote BBM – BlackBerry’s iconic mobile instant messaging platform. We’re pleased to announce BBM is now available to all Samsung GALAXY smartphone owners in sub-Sahara Africa from the Samsung App store.

Samsung customers in sub-Sahara Africa will enjoy three-day exclusive period before BBM becomes available to other Android and iPhone customers around the world.

For Samsung customers in Africa, BBM will be part of Samsung Messaging Hub, complementing the range of propriety and third party messaging services that customers currently enjoy.

Now that Samsung GALAXY smartphone users in Africa have full access to the BBM social network, they are able to enjoy BBM chats, multi-person chats, BBM Groups and share photos and voice notes, as part of the BBM community.

Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry met virtually via BBM with George Ferreira, VP and COO of Samsung Electronics Africa, to discuss the launch of BBM on Samsung GALAXY smartphones in Africa. We’ve captured the conversation below for your reading pleasure:

Continue reading Samsung Africa Welcomes BBM: Exclusive interview and BBM Chat between the two companies

Top BBM Channels to Follow in Beta

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BBM Channels has been in beta for a few weeks now and the response has been outstanding. We’ve already seen many channels and communities appear from passionate people all across the globe. In real-time you can discover and connect with other #TeamBlackBerry members on subjects that interest you. You can also connect with some of your favorite teams and celebrities like we mentioned at BlackBerry Live 2013.

From fitness, to beverages, to biking, to music. Whatever your passion, it’s on BBM Channels. We’ve taken the time to dig up a few other amazing channels you may be interested in following.

BBM Channels to Follow:

  • C00093F7A – Fitness: Discover and chat about the latest techniques and tips for staying fit from this community.
  • C00016D81 – Photography: If you’re into snapping that perfect shot, this is definitely a channel you’ll want to get involved with. Learn and share tips and tricks with fellow photographers here.
  • C000288DD – Craft Beer: If you’re a craft beer enthousiast, this is a channel you’ll definitely want to check out. Find that perfect flavour profile and debate about which brew is tops with likeminded folks here.
  • C000FBBAA – Electronic Dance Music (EDM): Whether you enjoy creating that perfect mix or listening and waiting for that beat to drop, this is the community for you. Chat about the latest albums, tracks and hear about the newest gear in this BBM Channel
  • C0003D4CC – Gearheads: If cars, bikes, trucks… motors in general are you thing, definitely connect with this channel to get your fix. If you don’t know what RPM means, but want to — hop on and find out, this community is full of knowledge.
  • C0001F622 – BlackBerry Official: Of course, it wouldn’t be an Inside BlackBerry post without a little plug for the official channels. If you’re not following (which of course you are because it’s built-in!) follow the official BlackBerry BBM channel.

Haven’t joined the beta yet? Be sure to check it out here. Already an active member? Post your channel in the comments below to share with the BlackBerry community.

BlackBerry Plans To Launch BBM Across Multiple Platforms This Summer

BBM BBM Across Multiple Platforms

If you’re already a fan of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), we’ve got some exciting news designed to make it easier for you to connect with your entire mobile social network. BlackBerry plans to make BBM, our wildly popular mobile messaging service, available for the first time to iOS® and Android™ users this summer, (subject to approval by Google Play and the Apple App Store, as applicable). This means that, once available, you can welcome your friends and family using these other mobile platforms to connect over BBM and share in the Team BlackBerry love.

As we’ve chronicled on our Inside BlackBerry blog for some time now, BBM set the standard for mobile instant messaging with fast and reliable service and an added layer of engagement with delivered and read statuses. You’ve shared with us your stories about how BBM has kept you connected when it mattered most to you. Upon release of the multi-platform BBM service, you can broaden that real-time connection to friends and colleagues on other supported mobile platforms.

Continue reading BlackBerry Plans To Launch BBM Across Multiple Platforms This Summer

BBM Video: Top 5 Things You Should Know

[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

Arguably, the most significant BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) innovation on BlackBerry 10 is the Video Chat feature. Built on multifaceted technology, BBM Video is intended to provide BlackBerry 10 users with a first-in-class video chat agent. As you start exploring BBM Video, keep these key points in mind to help optimize your BlackBerry 10 experience:

  1. Seamless transition between text and video. It’s extremely easy to initiate a video chat with a BBM contact. When in a text-based BBM conversation, simply tap the video icon on the chat screen to start talking face-to-face. BAM!
  2. Screen Share. In addition to being able to make audio and video calls through BBM, you can share the screen of your BlackBerry 10 device while continuing your conversation. This allows you to chat in real time about a photo album, business document or website.
  3. High quality audio. BBM Video has stereo and wide-band audio technology. This means that two people can talk at the same time without canceling each other out.
  4. Cinematic experience. You can rotate your BlackBerry 10 device while BBM video chatting. This way, you can share you surrounding in portrait or landscape mode when conversing with a contact face-to-face over BBM.
  5. Front or rear-facing cameras. When in BBM Video, you switch between the front or rear-facing cameras on your BlackBerry 10 device. Which lens is more slimming (ha!) – you pick!

Okay, now you can stop reading and start chatting. Let us know what you think about BBM Video in the comments below!

BlackBerry 10 Interview: T.A. McCann on the New BBM Video Chat and Screenshare

BlackBerry 10 is all about communication and keeping you moving when you’re on the go. The new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones feature amazing and innovative technology that allows you to share your screen with your BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) contacts using BlackBerry 10. This was demoed for the first time at the BlackBerry 10 launch event, and it was undeniably a crowd pleaser.

To find out more about about this exciting news and the future of BBM, I met with T.A. McCann, VP, BBM and Social Communities of BlackBerry at the BlackBerry 10 launch event. He also let me know what his favorite sleeper feature in BlackBerry 10 is. Curious? Watch the interview here to find out.

[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

Big thanks to T.A. for the interview – I’m sure Matthew and the browser team appreciate the shoutout. What’s your favorite BlackBerry 10 sleeper feature?

First Look: BBM Video Chat on BlackBerry 10 featuring Screenshare

Vivek and Thorsten present BlackBerry 10

The BlackBerry 10 launch event has already brought some amazing news. Now we’re looking at the new BBM Video Chat featuring Screenshare technology. This brings BBM, or BlackBerry Messenger, to the next level and highlights the essence of BlackBerry 10 – real-time communication. Here at the event, Vivek made the first public BBM Video Chat live from New York City to London, England, meeting face-to-face with Andrew Bocking, SVP, Software Product Management at BlackBerry.

Imagine also being able to share your screen with friends and family as you walk them through a photo album – or with colleagues as you walk through a document or presentation – all while still staying on the call. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

To see it in action for yourself, checkout this walkthrough with Vivek:

[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

What do you think about BBM Video Chat featuring Screenshare? Who will be the first person you video chat with?