Scanning through your Facebook newsfeed or Twitter stream, you might be noticing a lot of people sharing QR codes on their status.
These are actually BlackBerry Messenger or BBM invites. QR codes are making it easier for people to add friends to their BBM contact list. Instead of inputting an alphanumeric PIN and double checking to see if it is correct, you only have to scan the QR code. This way there is absolutely no way that you are inviting a stranger to chat.
BBM now available for iOS and Android users
For years, BlackBerry has kept it BlackBerry Messenger service exclusive to its users. And why not, the BBM used to be a great service that differentiated BlackBerry from other smartphones. For a while there, BlackBerry was able to hold on to their users from migrating to iPhone.
But things became worse for BlackBerry as they saw most of their users switch to an iPhone and then later to an Android device. BlackBerry sold itself to a Canadian consortium in September.
The BBM service was iconic. At its peak, more than a million people were using the service everyday. But now, it is just another messaging app. Who cares to have BBM when most people are using WhatsApp, LINE and Kakao and other messaging apps that can do everything that BBM does and more.
At the very least, a lot of people are using Facebook Messenger nowadays. Being tied to their Facebook account, they can easily message anybody in their friends list without having to scan a single QR code or keying in PINs.
Will BBM get some of its former glory back? We do hope so. But to do that, it needs a feature that would set it apart from the rest. Now that is easier said than done, especially if you stop to consider that most other messaging apps have all the bells and whistles that their users want.
Is the BBM a good thing that came too late into the game? Is the BBM going to go down as a symbol of everything that went wrong for BlackBerry?
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