In a better-late-than-never announcement, Canada-based BlackBerry today posted a surprising announcement confirming it will be bringing its BlackBerry Messenger platform to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform. Yes, BlackBerry’s killer app won’t be exclusive anymore.
BlackBerry’s move comes amid consolidation in the instant messaging space. Two increasingly popular services, Viber and WhatsApp, recently passed 200 million users each.
With iMessage pretty much ruling the messaging game on iOS devices and Google’s rumored unified chatting platform dubbed Babel expected soon, it is no surprise that BlackBerry Messenger will be available to mobile users who don’t use BlackBerry devices…
The official announcement on the company’s blog lists the following features that will be initially supported on iOS and Android:
the immediacy of BBM chats
voice note sharing
BlackBerry Groups, where BBM users are able to set up groups of up to 30 people and share calendar, photos, files and more
The BlackBerry Messenger service will be released for Android and iOS as a free app this summer.
BIG NEWS: BBM slated to be available on iOS and Android as free download this summer. MORE: blck.by/15HMeHZ
— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) May 14, 2013
The iOS edition will support iOS hardware running iOS 6 and above. Its Android counterpart will require Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later devices.
BlackBerry Messenger claims 60 million monthly active users, with more than 51 million daily active users sending and receiving more than ten billion messages each day, “nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps.”