Way back in 2011, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger was seeing a lot of attention. Whether it was people talking about whether or not the service should find its way to other mobile platforms, or if the death knell had begun ringing, BBM was all the rage. Now, though, that isn’t the case. We have heard a few new features that RIM will be including, but I’m actually surprised that BBM isn’t taking more of a center stage position with BlackBerry 10 right around the corner.
After seeing the new features that BlackBerry 10 has under the hood, especially when it comes to RIM’s focus on sliding panels, my excitement levels for the upcoming platform are pretty high. I’m certainly looking forward to the end of January, now.
But one feature that I’m not really thinking all that much about, especially when I look for new features regarding RIM’s new mobile OS, is BlackBerry Messenger. Actually, to be perfectly honest with you, more often than not I admittedly forget it exists at all. No, I’m not using a BlackBerry device right now, and that probably has a lot to do with why I’d forget the messaging feature is a thing, but I think it may have more to do with how far RIM has slipped down the totem pole.
I can still remember back in the day when BlackBerry Messenger was one of the go-to features for BlackBerry devices. Actually, for some people, it was the go-to application. Being able to keep up in real-time with whoever you were conversing with, thanks to BBM, was a pretty great feature, no doubt. But, we’re in the year right at the tail-end of 2012, and BBM isn’t the only messaging app with that feature anymore. It’s pretty common, now, in fact. So, how can BBM stand out?
It can incorporate other features, like video chat. Oh, that’s not enough for you? How about screen sharing, while you’re video chatting?
No one is going to hail these things as revolutionary, but they do seem like perfectly evolutionary steps for BlackBerry Messenger, don’t they? It’s something that I look at, and find myself thinking, “Yeah, that makes sense.” But I could understand that if RIM didn’t include those things, especially video chat, that people would raise their voice and say that BBM is missing standard features.
I’m not even sure I can say that RIM is playing it safe with BBM, really. I mean, it’s not like Google Talk has changed all that much over the years. And who knows when iMessage will change. If ever. Does Research In Motion actually have to go out of their way to shove a whole bunch of new features into BBM? Or do they just need to make sure that it works, solidly and consistently, while still offering new features for those who might like to talk face-to-face with someone through a phone?
It’s good to see that RIM is still keeping BBM a BlackBerry-only service, though. They need to have as many platform-specific things as they can, and even if BBM may not have a laundry list of new features that will wow the general populace, it may have just enough to spark some interest, which could lead to more looks at other BB10 features.
But how do you feel about BlackBerry Messenger in BB10, Dear Reader? Are you looking forward to using BBM in your everyday routine again? Or have you given it up for other messaging applications? Let me know!