I'm actually pretty excited for BlackBerry... MessengerAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) has been having a pretty up and down year. Where BlackBerry is now is very different from where we thought they would be just earlier this year. With the unveiling of their new OS, BlackBerry 10, many people had high hopes that this would be BlackBerry's big comeback. After being one of the most popular smartphone platforms on the market and failing to keep up, BlackBerry's efforts to keep up with the industry and their gung ho attitude was something that was to be admired.
Unfortunately, it looks like the new OS didn't exactly bode over so well. At least, not to the majority of smartphone users. You'll see a pocket of BlackBerry 10 users here and there, but even then BlackBerry is still pumping out new devices running on BlackBerry 7. With lay-offs occurring earlier this summer and rumors spreading quickly that BlackBerry plans to slash 40% of its workforce, and possibly even selling the company, means outlook isn't exactly good for the Ontario-based company.
A part of me is sad, because BlackBerry was one of my fondest first smartphone experiences. I mean, BlackBerry OS at the time was pretty freakin' fantastic. It did all of the things you ever wanted your phone to do and more. It had a great keyboard, apps and a trackball to move around the screen... yes, those were the gool ol' days, with a lot of emphasis on the "ol". Trackball and trackpad isn't really that convenient anymore. Physical keyboards are even starting to lose their charm, so the doom of the traditional BlackBerry design might be entirely imminent at this point. And while BlackBerry tried to address this move away from everything BlackBerry was while still trying to hold on to that old form factor with the release of the Z10 and Q10 for BlackBerry 10, it really doesn't seem like it's going to cut it.
But at least we get to keep BlackBerry Messenger, and I'm kind of excited about that.
I've tried different messaging apps from both iOS and Android's selection of hundreds of thousands of applications, but none of them ever really worked that well for me. It became complicated, and everyone seemed to be using a different IM service. The thing about BlackBerry Messenger was that is has been around for so long, and has for a long time been one of the main selling point for BlackBerry that I actually have a lot of friends and family that seem excited about its release this weekend. I think a lot of people are excited about it because BlackBerry Messenger was what made using BlackBerrys such a big deal for personal and business use alike.
I think BlackBerry Messenger will be able to give other messaging applications like WhatsApp, TextMe, etc. a run for their money. Not only has BBM already made a name for itself in the world, but it does a pretty darn good job of it. Even the updates that BlackBerry made to BBM gave it some charming social networking characteristics, which may or may not be a good thing depending on who you are. The only real drawback lately to BlackBerry Messenger is that not very many people use BlackBerry phones anymore, so it's hard to convince people to switch to BlackBerry because of how "useful" BlackBerry Messenger, but perhaps with BBM being on more platforms this will help convince people who strayed away from BlackBerry phones back to the company. Best of all, the application is going to be free.
I'm excited for BlackBerry Messenger not only because I want to use it, but because I think it's a genuinely good move for BlackBerry. Whether it plays out to help sales or not (which I'm not holding my breath over, but also not throwing out the possibility) it's nice to be able to have the option to use BlackBerry Messenger again.
Readers, what are your thoughts on BBM? Do you plan on downloading the application on your iOS or Android device? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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