As a self-confessed BlackBerry fan, I still can’t decide whether or not a cross platform BlackBerry Messenger is a good idea.
BBM is a compelling value proposition for owning a BlackBerry and the best instant messenger by a huge, huge mile. In comparison, WhatsApp is OK but it’s generally a buggy, battery draining bloat-fest that has gained traction purely by being cross platform compatible. BBM not only blows it away in terms of reliability, functionality, scalability, ease-of-use, flexibility and security, it takes the blown up WhatsApp pieces, smashes it into smaller smithereens and feeds them to the mangy pigeons in Trafalgar Square.
That leaves Viber which seems marginally less buggy but at least is free. Like WhatsApp though, it relies on exposing your phone number so forget any idea about security or unwanted spam.
On the one hand, BlackBerry are stupid by releasing BBM on other platforms because it neatly removes at a single stroke, the sole USP for owning a BlackBerry in the first place. A lot of people buy a BlackBerry solely for BBM and the bullet-proof email. Taking this way gives them no reason to buy a BlackBerry or stick with a BB handset.
On the other hand however, making BBM cross platform is a smart move because it means that those with a BB will no longer feel compelled to jump ship just so they can message other platforms for free. It might also attract newbies to BlackBerry who wanted a secure instant messenger par excellence but were put off by all their mates having Androids and iPhones.
I really don’t want to see BlackBerry handset’s disappear from the market, you can’t beat them for anything remotely message related. However, I can’t help feeling that BlackBerry deserve an Epic Fail for foisting the dreadful gesture driven OS 10 upon us and getting rid of the optical trackpad in a silly attempt to try and pick up a few crumbs in the useless touch-screen segment.