It's time to pour one out, because BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down.
It was announced today that the consumer version of BBM is closing on May 31st, 2019. After that date, the BBM app will stop working. Emtek, who licensed the BBM consumer business from BlackBerry in 2016, says that BBM stickers and BBMoji can't be exported out of the app, so you won't be able to use them after the shutdown. You can issue refunds of your in-app purchases for stickers that you've bought, though.
Before the shutdown, you can download your photos, videos, and files shared through BBM directly from the app. However, you cannot export your contacts or feeds. Once BBM is shut down, user data like channels and feeds will be deleted from servers within 7 days of the shutdown. More details on the shutdown are available in this FAQ.
As for why BBM is closing down, the BBM team says that "users have moved on to other platforms" and that it was difficult to get new users to join the service. "Since 2016 we have tried our best to compete in this market and launch many new features and content that we had hoped would grow the BBM user base," they explain. "Despite all of our efforts, we found that the network effect of the market leaders is getting stronger and we have been squeezed out of user preferences."
BBM used to be the go-to messaging service when BlackBerry devices ruled the smartphone world. As consumers moved on to Android and iOS, though, other messaging services arrived and grew in popularity, and now services like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, and Telegram are the popular chatting options for smartphone users. The BBM tried to help BlackBerry Messenger grow by expanding the platform to Android and iOS and adding new features, but BBM was never able to regain its former glory.
Did you ever use BBM?