Rather than a drawn out comparison of available mobile messengers I am simply going to write about the reasons I use BBM. If you don’t use BBM you will be able to go through this and draw your own comparisons.
There was a time when I was using WhatsApp and GTalk more than anything, and I was using a Blackberry at the time. On my old Blackberry Bold, BBM was a great stand by messenger, but it was sadly lacking in features. Of course BBM was only available to Blackberry devices, transfer size was crippling, there weren’t many features.
Things have changed in the past few years! BBM is now available on Android, iPhone, WinPhone, and of course Blackberry. Since some people may be familiar with BBM on a Bold or Curve, here is a quick comparison of BBM then and now:
|old BBM||new BBM|
|available platforms||Blackberry||Android, Blackberry, iPhone, WinPhone, PC/Mac/Tablet (with Blend)|
|timed messages (incl. attachments)||no||yes|
|file transfer size (pic, video, file, contacts)||6 MB||16 MB|
|emote/emoji default||~60 (I forget, but this is what I'm seeing on the web)||~200 - new emotes always added with updates|
|banking, money transfer||no||yes - available in some markets|
|bbm voice||no||yes, on all platforms|
|bbm video||no||yes, between Blackberry 10 devices|
At the time of this writing there 200 emotes/emoji available in chat. There are 150 sticker packs available to buy in BBM Shop. Most of these sticker packs are $1.99, but there are some free ones, and deals (free) can and do happen at any time.
BBM Groups are best described as personal or business microblogs. There are many channels available to follow, and more are added all the time. In the channels you will find fan-based content, shopping channels, deals to be found, personal blogs, jokes and humour, art and photography, business content, and the list goes on …
The other thing I mentioned in the table above is the ability to use BBM on your PC/Mac/Tablet. This is exclusive to Blackberry 10 devices, and Blackberry Blend. I will cover Blend at a later time.
BBM Voice/Video chat allows two BBM users to communicate with Voice (all platforms) and Video (BBM 10 only). This uses data or WiFi, and allows you to communicate with another BBM user no matter where they are, and no long distance charges are incurred. With Blackberry 10 devices, using video chat, you can also use screen share. This allows you to share your device information with the person on the other end. Other users can also be authorized to control your screen, so if you are having trouble with a certain element – easily get help.
What’s your Pin?
Finally, the most important thing (to me) BBM offers is the Pin system for adding contacts. There are many reasons I don’t like using my phone number; SMS spam and telemarketers being the top two. I have seen and read about cases where people are added to contact lists because they got a phone with a new phone number. Even though this phone number is new to them, somebody else had it before – boom, you’re on a list somewhere with no way to delete or block. There are some apps in the wild that will harvest contact lists and sell this information to telemarketing companies – not possible with a Pin system. I don’t want my phone number to be public information because a friend likes installing every app known to mankind. Also, using this system it’s much easier to control contacts – especially removal and blocking.
Happy BBM’ing 🙂