Back on this day eight years ago, BBM was first launched. Over the next few years years, it would become a synonym for immediacy in messaging, a staple in the history of mobile communication. Although it would take a couple of more weeks for it be known publicly, BBM started floating around Research In Motion's internal systems on July 14th, 2005, and there, it spread like wildfire.
Yesterday, Gary Klassen, who is credited as the inventor of BBM, tweeted out this picture of how BBM went viral within RIM back in its early days. It originally just started simply as a messaging service that connected people on a more personal level by including the D's and the R's, a simple feature that would make us addicted in the future. It would evolve into so much more than that.
When I got my first taste of BBM, on my Curve 8310, there were no display pics. There were no status message updates. There was no voice calling, or video chatting. It was bare, like you can see in the picture above, but it was still messaging at its finest.
Over the years, great features were added to BBM. We got to see who we were talking to with the addition of display pictures. We got to know what they were saying with status updates, or what they were listening to with music updates, BBM Music, among other things.
BBM Groups launched in early 2010, and have become an integral part of how thousands of businesses communicate with one another, and with the future addition of BBM Channels, it will only get bigger.
As of January 30th, BlackBerry officially gave us a new look BBM with BB10. The refreshed UI, and the addition of BBM Video and Screen Share have been huge attractions for old and new members of the platform. The Q10 brought a dark theme to BBM, a first for any device in BlackBerry's history.
Furthermore, BBM hasn't just transcended the barriers of communication because of its usefulness. On September 13th, 2012, it actually became a word. A word that millions of people have spoken and used over the past eight years.
According to the latest statistics, given by CEO Thorsten Heins at BlackBerry Live this year, there are 60 million active BBM users around the globe. That may not sound like a lot, but when you think about the fact that those 60 million users send over 10 billion BBMs daily, it puts its popularity in perspective.
That same day, Heins would go on to announce one of the biggest news ever with regards to BBM: it officially would go cross platform this summer, and while we still wait for both iOS and Android versions to launch, it will be no surprise when it catches fire in both marketplaces. If you doubt its popularity outside of #teamBlackBerry, take into consideration the fact that a fake BBM app that was submitted to Google Play was downloaded over 100,000 times in mere hours before being pulled.
People that use BBM, love it. People that used BBM in the past, miss it. People that are on other platforms, want it.
So let's celebrate BBM today on its special day. In case you didn't notice, the title has a hashtag (#BBMDay) we'll be using today on all major social media channels, so join in on the fun and happy #BBMDay!