What’s great about the new Research in Motion is that they are listening. For years, the now 60+ million daily active users of BBM have been dying for more ways to use their favorite instant communication tool. BlackBerry last quarter added 2 million new subscribers topping the 80 million mark. Impressive to see that 3/4s of those subscribers use the mobile social network BBM every single day. One of the primary scuffles between the old co-ceos was what to do with RIM. With Heins at the helm we’re seeing currently Mike Lazaridis plan to stick with handsets–as opposed to Jim Balsillie who wanted to open up RIMs network infrastructure and essentially turn RIM into a “services” company. Doing this would allow BBM to go cross platform on other handsets while reducing the data costs on the carriers and get people cheaper data plans. With the dawn of BlackBerry 10 now just 6 weeks out, RIM has not ignored its customers need; recently releasing BBM Voice for free wifi-voice calls through BBM, and the talks of BBM Money hitting Indonesia with the release of BlackBerry 10. But now let’s transition, and talk about BBM Desktop the key solution that may give Skype a run for its money.
I’m not talking out my ass here, there have been numerous reports, like this one from CrackBerry, that this type of application already exists. BBM Desktop would be a desktop application linked by your BlackBerry ID, allowing you to use BBM and its associated functions right from your computer, BlackBerry tablet or BB cell phone seamlessly. On the handsets we’re expecting cool additions to BBM, we’ve already got voice and instant messaging. But we’ve seen heavy hints at video calling and even screen sharing. While many believe that BBM on an iPhone or Android would swiftly kill adoption of RIMs handset business–BBM on the desktop would actually be very handy, similar to what Skype offers for free. The key benefit of BBM is that it would not be available to iOS or Android or Windows Phone users, and thus would be strictly for BlackBerry People. I shouldn’t need to explain the benefits of BBM over Skype. Call quality is better, security actually exists, and calling international you don’t get charged like you do through Skype. Recently, reliable sources have purported the idea that BBM is indeed coming to desktop to add to the momentum of the BlackBerry 10 launch. The same sources from Indonesia have also told NerdBerry that BlackBerry 10 possess a “Desktop Mode” but we’re still actively investigating those claims. A desktop mode would support the idea of Mobile Computing where you’d essentially use your
smartphone mobile computing device as your processing power, and connect it to an external screen and accessories to get more done wherever you are; your work station in the palm of your hand.
When you look at BBM as it is now, it’s very similar to instagram in its early days. Existing soley on the handset–a mobile social network. While FaceBook exists on a website, BBM does not. What makes BBM great is that it is a more proficient social networking tool. Communication is the key facet of all these social networks. On Facebook you see something on your news-feed and then you may respond to it or you may keep on scrolling BBM aggregates through “BBM Connected Apps” all your social streams into the user profile of your BBM Contacts. It gives you a much larger spread to “discover” who that contact is, and gives you direct connection to communicate with them. FaceBook grew into this model, allowing FaceBook chat and messages but BBM has this tenet at its core. As well as allowing you to create groups and share media instantly. This is what makes governments, fire departments, police and other industries so apt to use it, as it is social-secure advanced emailing. With the likely integration of all these components and BBM Music into the BlackBerry 10 offering you can damn well expect that BBM will be an even more in-depth social networking experience, that facilitates communication as its key feature, not profile stalking and status liking, communication.