Blackberry Messenger, BBM, for iOS and Android got off to a flying start Tuesday, with BlackBerry reporting more than 10 million downloads during the free app’s first 24 hours of availability.
Blackberry Limited, who has been struggling financially, recently announced its intention to lay off a third of its workforce, adding that it expects to announce financial losses of almost a billion dollars for the June to August quarter, Reuters reports.
But despite BBM’s failed launch in September, 2013, Blackberry recorded an amazing success in the first 24 hours after resuming the launch of BBM for Android and iPhone.
The company’s executive vice president Andrew Bocking, took to the officialBlackBerry blog to thank customers, employees, and partners for their “enthusiasm and commitment” in getting BBM for iOS and Android off the ground, even if the process didn’t go as smoothly as he might have liked.
The rush to download the instant messaging app saw it shoot to the top of app charts in more than 75 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Indonesia and most of the Middle East, the executive said, adding, “We have also seen overwhelmingly positive reviews on Google Play and the App Store. In fact, BBM has earned 60,000 five-star reviews on Google Play from about 87,000 reviews.”
All that and the app isn’t even running at full throttle yet as Mr. Bocking promised that BBM features found on the BlackBerry 10 version of the app, including BBM Video, BBM Voice, and BBM Channels, would be coming to the iOS and Android versions “in the near future,” along with other new features.
Although over 10 million people have downloaded the app, a portion of those will be doing little more than simply staring expectantly at the BBM icon, with BlackBerry having opted for a little-by-little approach to activating new BBM accounts in an effort to ease the pressure on its servers.
After downloading BBM, the user is prompted to enter his/her email address and hold his/her place in line. Once you hit the front, BlackBerry sends an email to let you know the app is ready for use. Presumably this system will be dropped once demand begins to ease up, allowing downloaders to dive straight in.
Of course, with so much competition out there in the instant messaging space, there’s no guarantee BBM will become the app of choice for iOS and Android users, but the degree of early interest certainly shows people are keen to take it for a spin to see how it stacks up against the competition.
Have you downloaded the new BBM? How’s it looking for you?