BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is being split into three separate services, which will prevent fans of the secure messaging service from switching platforms and devices at will.
As of September 25, BlackBerry will have BBM Consumer for iOS, Android and Microsoft devices, BBM Consumer for its own devices running BlackBerry OS and BB10, and BBM Enterprise, a business orientated version of BBM that works across all devices.
The service split will not stop users from accessing and messaging their current BBM contacts, but it will mean that service migration using one BlackBerry account ID won’t be possible after September 25. For example, BBM Enterprise users won’t be able to move to a BBM Consumer account for Android or iOS without creating a new BBID.
And once a new ID is created on one of the consumer services, BBM users will need to re-invite their existing contacts to the new account.
BlackBerry’s general manager of its mobility solutions division, Alex Thurber, said the decision to separate BBM into three distinct services was to address the different needs of BBM users.
“For several years, BBM has been serving two very distinct and different audiences: enterprise customers, many of whom require military-grade security for their text, voice and video conversations; and consumer users interested in a free service that offers sticky features like games, shopping, music, news, payments and more,” he explained.
Thurber also apologised for any confusion that may have been caused this week when BBM users couldn’t access their contacts or BBM channels after moving the service to another device, due to changes being made on BlackBerry’s servers in preparation for the BBM separation.
Overall, the changes shouldn’t affect everyday BBM use, other than provide a bit of inconvenience when moving from a BlackBerry device to an Android or iOS smartphone. And BBM Enterprise users also gain an extra feature in the from of MPoP (multiple points of presence), which allows them to run BBM Enterprise on multiple devices at the same time using the same BBID.
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