BlackBerry first introduced us to BBM Channels in May of 2013, touting it as a way for businesses and celebrities to better connect with their fans. The feature hit BlackBerry 10 first and recently made its way to Android and iOS. Now that the feature is widely available, it appears that BlackBerry is ready to begin using it to earn some cash.
In a post on the official Inside BlackBerry blog, BlackBerry has confirmed its plans to build advertising into its BBM Channels service. The company promises that it only plans to offer "select, premier opportunities" to advertise inside of BBM Channels and that it plans to be strict about the kind of content that it allows to be shown to its users. BlackBerry goes on to name three specific ways in which a piece of sponsored content might appear in front of a user:
BlackBerry says that user privacy is very important to it, and as a result, it makes no personally identifiable information available to its BBM Channel owners or advertisers. The company also makes sure to point out that it has no plans to insert advertising of any kind inside of actual BBM chats.
Most folks aren't huge fans of advertising in their mobile software, especially when it comes to a utility that they use on a regular basis, just like many people use BBM. It sounds like BlackBerry plans on being very careful about the sponsored content that it allows into BBM Channels, though, and it's smart for the company to keep ads out of BBM chats. It's also a good thing that BlackBerry explained its advertising plans before rolling them out to the general public rather than pushing them out quietly and risking some major user backlash.
What do you think of BlackBerry's BBM Channel advertising plans? Would you be ok with this sponsored content if you were a BBM user?