BBM, BlackBerry’s encrypted chat client, is headed to Windows Phone, the company said on Thursday. Once upon a time BBM was considered a differentiating feature exclusive to BlackBerry devices, but in the past year the company also released apps for iOS and Android.
In terms of sheer numbers of users or messages sent, BBM can’t compete with some of the new cost-focused messaging apps that have been hot lately, like WhatsApp, KakaoTalk, Line, and fellow Canadian company Kik. But it does have fans in some strongholds, like Indonesia, where it remains the most popular messaging service.Blackberry
The Windows Phone BBM app, with a fresh redesign compared to the iOS and Android versions, comes a few days after BlackBerry announced it was buying German mobile security firm Secursmart at a security conference in New York. While BlackBerry isn’t giving up on its own devices (it plans to release a square-shaped phone called the Passport this fall) it is reemphasizing its expertise in security for big firms over consumer hardware.
Earlier this summer, BlackBerry released a version of BBM that meets stringent U.S. government requirements for cryptography. The paid service, eBBM Suite, is not the consumer-focused BBM available on Windows Phone, but BlackBerry plans to port it over to other platforms later this year. It certainly made good on its promise to take BBM cross-platform.