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BBM for Android and iOS gets off to rocky start for BlackBerry

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 22 September 2013

Opening up BBM messenger gets off to shaky start for BlackBerry


BlackBerry hits pause on BBM messenger roll-out amidst an anticipated $1 billion loss and job cuts

BBM for all BlackBerry image BlackBerry is pausing the release of its BBM instant messenger for Android and iOS during launch as it experiences technical difficulties.

The additional challenges comes to the Canadian technology company as it anticipates nearly a $1 billion (USD) loss and is to cut 4,500 global jobs, approximately 40% of its workforce.
Earlier in the week, BlackBerry announced on its blog that BBM would be available for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean (from Saturday, 7AM EDT), while iPhones running iOS 6 or iOS 7 (would be available for each market on the App Store schedule from 12:01 AM local time on Sunday).

However, an early version of the release has dogged the launch with problems. “Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day,” explained Luke Reimer, business social media manager at BlackBerry, after the technology company announced updates on social media.

Although the launch has been plagued with issues, BlackBerry remains positive about the eventual rollout, “The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible,” continued Reimer.

Its app release woes are drawing a lot of criticism, including how Google Play had various ‘fake’ versions, causing confusion and anger amongst users keen to download it.  The complaints again question how products are managed in Google’s app store.

BlackBerry has advised users that have already downloaded the iPhone app they can continue to use it, but the unreleased Android app will be disabled. The BBM service for BlackBerry remains unaffected.  Plans to make BBM more of a social experience for users to draw in brands for promotions, partnerships et al has been outlined by BlackBerry when it tries to have artists, celebrities etc., connect better with their audiences and vice versa.  The vibe from users and technology watchers is that if a fix doesn't come soon, the struggling tech company will have a greater mountain to climb to demonstrate that it has a handle on future initiatives to ride increasingly turbulent times and instil confidence again.

With a staggered country roll-out planned of BBM for Android and continued the roll-out of BBM for iPhone, customers have been further advised to follow BlackBerry @BBM on Twitter and to sign-up for updates about BBM for Android at its site

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