BBM Shop Turns One Year Old: Here are 8 Milestones

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The BBM Shop turned one year old yesterday! If you haven’t visited before, check out our online store by tapping on the little shopping cart in the bottom right of the BBM app screen, where you’ll find a large selection of stickers, apps, games, music and other digital goods.

But so many of you are already visiting, as evidenced by the following statistics.

  • Stickers Sent (since April 1, 2014): 
    • More than 1.87 billion total
    • Currently 500 million per month
    • 20 percent of sticker-enabled users send at least 1 sticker per week
    • The average sticker user sends about 10 stickers per week
  • BBM Shop:
    • More than 1.5 billion total visits
    • Currently 250 million per month
    • Inventory of more than 250 items
    • Average BBM Shop user visits about 3 times per week

Many thanks to all of you! Below is a chart that visually shows the uptake in interest in BBM Shop.

bbm shop momentum

The blue line shows the number of stickers sent, while the green-blue line shows the number of shop visits, which we attribute to more, better products and improving features like the ‘Picker’.

Expect more improvements to the BBM Shop experience coming this year. If you have suggestions for features or goods you’d like to see, please share them in the comments.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with BBM

st_patricks_day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Today marks the celebration of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. According to Wikipedia, Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on BBM

Try some of these:

  • Send your BBM friends festive St. Patrick’s Day BBM stickers from the BBM Shop.
  • Update your BBM status and add some emojis like a four-leaf clover, Irish flag, and hey why not, a pint of beer. (To add the flag of Ireland, type *IE*. For more flags, read this post on the Inside Help blog.
  • Change your BBM profile picture to something green, lucky, Irish…the options are endless.

Share your own ideas in the comments below, or send us your pictures on Twitter @BBM and Facebook.

Stickers Bring Fun, Revenue and Endless Possibilities to Mobile Messaging

Stickers aren’t just for kids anymore.

They are the new, new thing in mobile messaging – bigger, better versions of emoticons and emoji, those smiley, winking and frowning faces we’ve been using in email for years. Some of them are even animated, by which I mean they move.

Stickers cater to consumers on the leading edge, who have moved beyond even using words in their mobile chat sessions, and are instead communicating with pictures.

Does that make you feel both old and like you have a lot of catching up to do? Don’t worry: this homework is a lot of fun.

Want to suggest a restaurant for date night?

BBM Sticker 1

Refer to a tyrannical former boss?

BBM Stickers 2

Call in sick?
BBM Sticker 3

Stickers are absolutely part of our strategy to monetise BBM.

Now that BBM lives independently of the BlackBerry operating system and devices, it has its own business model – to become a platform for engaging with the mobile economic ecosystem.

How do stickers fit into that grand scheme? For an in-depth look, check out the detailed post over at the Business Blog, but here’s the main point:

Consumers love stickers. According to recent research, 40% of smartphone owners use stickers regularly, and 20% of sticker users have purchased them.

The trend started in Asia, where typing out messages in characters (Chinese, Japanese, etc.) can be slow.

Stickers have become a fast, fun alternative.

Stickers also make money — and quite a lot of it. One particular messaging app revealed its revenue from sticker sales last year ($17 million in one quarter, which grew to $27.4 million the next), and effectively started the trend.

The revenue comes from consumers buying stickers to use in chats, but also from advertisers offering branded stickers that users can download if they “friend” the brand, which opts them into direct marketing.

sticker-header.png.original

From a business perspective, we like stickers because they pave the way for payments. The first time you buy stickers from the BBM Shop, you may wonder what will happen. Once people make that first purchase and see that it works in just a few taps, they’ll be much more willing to do it again (Give it a try!). They may buy more stickers at a later time, or something else that we offer.

Some of the messaging apps popular in Asia are getting pretty crazy with what they’re offering for sale.

If you’re new to stickers, the catch-up homework is pretty simple. First, read more about the trend and the numbers on my post over at the Business Blog. Then, try one on for size.

Download the free BBM Stickers pack and send a few to your Contacts. If the shoe fits, go shopping! Each pack gives you 20-25 stickers, and only costs a dollar or two.

What’s not to like?

BlackBerry Brings It: The Hot Dog Emoji

The people have spoken, and they want an emoji shaped like a hot dog. Finally, BlackBerry has an answer to the outcry and longing that #hotdogemoji has come to represent.

Emojis are crazy popular. They’re those pictograms available in messaging apps—and on some operating systems—you can use to jazz up your chats and emails.

emojis

It’s not hard to understand why. The old adage sums it up: A picture is worth a thousand words. Emojis make it faster and easier to tell someone how you’re feeling.

They’re the next-generation of emoticons, the text-based smiley faces we’ve been using in email for years, like 🙂 smiling, 😉 winking, 😦 frowning, etc. Emojis include a 3-D version of every emoticon, plus hundreds of others, plus numbers, flowers, animals, signs, symbols and food among many, many others. See them all at the Emojipedia.

Emojis originated in Japan, so they represent Japanese cuisine, with sushi, a rice ball, a bowl of ramen and many more. They’re international enough to include pizza and spaghetti. There’s even a hamburger and French fries.

But no hot dog. BBM_Emoticons_194_HotDog

Laura Ustick, 3rd-generation owner of Chicago’s Superdawg Drive-In, noticed the glaring omission and started a hot dog emoji campaign, chronicled by the Wall Street Journal, New Yorker and Mashable (where Oscar Meyer chipped in with a video featuring its hot-dog-shaped car, the Weinermobile). Ustick’s campaign also spawned the Hot Dog Emoji Coalition Facebook page, the hashtag #hotdogemoji and an online petition.

Champions of the cause were disappointed once again when the Unicode Consortium, which decides what gets included in the emoji character set, announced an additional 250 emoji last month. The new emoji did not include a hot dog.

We’ve been following the drama at BBM, and decided to step forward and deliver the goods. No Ivory Tower here. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve served up the hot dog emoji.

With mustard, no less. Find it in your BBM.

And that’s not all. We’ve made a habit of crowdsourcing our emoji. Of the many we’ve added this year to BBM 2.0, many ideas came from our fans’ suggestions via the BBM Facebook page.

As mobile messaging continues to make the world smaller, I imagine we’ll all become more fluent in emoji. They do have the advantage of being universally understood between speakers of different languages.

In fact, how’s your emoji-ese? Test yourself by trying to guess these titles of great literature translated into emoji. If you’re feeling pretty confident, there’s always Emoji Dick, an emoji version of Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick, which the US Library of Congress accepted into its collection last year.

So now that we have the hot dog emoji, we need to use it. Aside from messaging what we’re having for dinner, I wanted to leave you with these additional suggestions:

Hot dog =

• Your pet that has overheated
• Someone who is showing off
• An expression of appreciation and wonder

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