WATERLOO, ONTARIO: BlackBerry plans to launch its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service for free on iOS and Android platforms this summer.
The BBM instant messenger app will include a new social engagement platform called BBM Channels, which will allow users to connect with brands and celebrities that they are passionate about.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins made the announcement at the company's BlackBerry Live conference on Tuesday in Orlando, FL.
The phone manufacturer will roll out its BBM service to other platforms in the hope of boosting the number of active BBM users.
BBM has grown partly due to its popularity among teenagers, but the service is increasingly under threat as more teens leave BlackBerry for other operating systems and turn to apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram to communicate with friends.
Last week, Marketing revealed the UK Department of Education is investigating the problem of children “sexting” through the BBM service.
According to BlackBerry, BBM has more than 60 million monthly active users and more than 51 million daily active users, with the latter group using the service for an average of one and a half hours per day. Some 10 billion messages are sent each day using BBM, representing nearly double the amount of daily messages per user compared with other mobile messaging apps.
This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.