Blackberry May Be Separating Messenger from Company Ahead of Potential Sale
Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry may be working on a way to “spinoff” its built-in messaging service, simply called BlackBerry Messenger, and turn it into its own “valuable asset” before the company’s rumored potential sale occurs.
This report comes out of The Wall Street Journal who is sourcing anonymous “people familiar with the matter.”
The potential name for the internal subsidiary would be BBM Inc. (BlackBerry Messenger), and would encourage the idea that its messaging service is valuable as an independent product. So much has the idea been encouraged that a number of executives within the company are “shifting” to the newly-developed BBM team, and have been working on tools that go beyond simple messaging, like video chatting.
Doing so would certainly provide benefit to users of the service, but also to potential new customers who don’t own a BlackBerry smartphone – which the company has a plan to cater to as well, according to Chief Executive Thorsten Heins, who says that BBM would come to other non-BlackBerry devices this summer. With popular messaging services like WhatsApp and WeTalk garnering larger user bases by the day (not to mention iMessage, even if its restricted to one ecosystem of devices), it wouldn’t be an unwise move for the company to try and elbow their way in and plant their feet while they can.
But as far as confirmations of a BBM subsidiary go…
“We have announced our plans to offer this trusted mobile messaging service to iPhone and Android users sometime this summer,” a BlackBerry spokeswoman said to The Wall Street Journal.
“We have made no further announcements.”
And while the “people familiar with the matter” claim the company is considering bringing BBM to desktop computers in some capacity, and even say a version was up and running internally years ago, the aforementioned BB spokeswoman continues to hold the company’s ground:
“We haven’t announced any initiatives to bring BBM to the desktop.”
The company will also reportedly launch a Twitter-like service called BBM Channels, which can be used to follow celebrities and brands you enjoy, and interact with them on some level, and vice-versa.
So, if it’s not clear enough already, BlackBerry, or at least a section of its employees, believe in the power and accessibility of their messaging software — and want to ensure its long-form success.
“We think there is a great opportunity in bringing BBM to other platforms as people look for the right service to have even more engaged conversations on their smartphones,” the BlackBerry spokeswoman said.
“People are also becoming leery of how they share their personal information and mobile communication services need to be built for that. They are also looking for a simple, customizable interface and BBM brings that.”