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Consumer BBM is shutting down, but BlackBerry throws a lifeline

20 April 2019

Given dwindling users are the reason the service is shuttering, I can't imagine many will. BlackBerry is belatedly suing WhatsApp owner Facebook (and others) for patent infringement. As a result, it will be closing down the consumer BBM service. Emtek acknowledged that "users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved hard to sign on".

For users that still want to use BBM likely due to its security features, BlackBerry has announced that BBM's enterprise counterpart, BBMe has been made available to individuals. This will now be unbundled and available to "working professionals". BBM Enterprise is free for the first year and costs $2.49 for six months of service.

BlackBerry couldn't resist a pointed jibe at a rival.

It is important to note here that BBOS or BlackBerry 10 users will remain unaffected as BlackBerry continues to manage BBM for the platform, but they won't be able to send and receive messages from BBM for Android/ iOS users after Emtek shuts the app down.

Shutterstock Once upon a time, BlackBerry phones were so popular, the business and enterprise crowd called them "CrackBerry" devices because they were so addictive. However, by that time most users migrated to rival messaging apps.

"We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date", Emtek said on Thursday in a blog post. Additionally, TLS encryption between the device and BlackBerry's infrastructure protects BBMe messages from eavesdropping or manipulation. The service only requires an email address to sign up unlike other apps. BBMe for individual use can be used on up to five devices simultaneously. However, the decision to go cross-platform came too late to save BBM. Unlike Emtek's vision of a BBM marketplace, meanwhile, BlackBerry's subscription-based model means it won't be trying to sell users extras, like music downloads, sticker packs, or anything else.

Anyone who had a BlackBerry back in the mid-00s definitely remembers using BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) to chat with their friends for free. What will you miss most about this app?

Consumer BBM is shutting down, but BlackBerry throws a lifeline