The BlackBerry Messenger application (BBM) is making its way from BlackBerry devices to both the Google Android and iOS platforms this summer.
The announcement reveals that iOS and Android users will be able to download and use the app for free.
The application will first debut with only core BBM functionality, which will then extend to other aspects of the BlackBerry system later in the year.
Among the apps features are BBM chats, multi-person chats, voice note sharing, and BlackBerry Groups with message and file sharing between up to 30 members.
According to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, “we’ll bring voice, screen share, and of course, channels later on.”
Heins says the launch date for BlackBerry Messenger is “subject to approval by Google Play and the Apple App Store.”
BBM is compatible with iOS 6 and devices running Android 4.0 and later.
The BlackBerry Messenger platform has been an integral part of the company’s platform for years and opening it up for use outside of BlackBerry devices might signal the company’s rumored move towards software only development. According to Andrew Bocking, executive vice president of software product management and ecosystem at BlackBerry:
“For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service.”
More than 60 million monthly active users currently take advantage of the BlackBerry Messenger service, and more than 51 million of those users engage with BBM for an average of 90 minutes per day. With more than 10 billion messages sent each day with BBM, now seems like the perfect time to massively expand the BlackBerry Messenger apps reach.
With many companies now providing “bring your own device” support, the move to allow cross-device BBM use could help some business users stick with their familiar BlackBerry-based smartphones and maybe even try out BB10.
Will you be downloading BlackBerry Messenger when it arrives for iOS or Google Android?