The BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, as it’s widely known among BlackBerry users, is shutting down in just a little over 1 month. Find out more about the shutdown and which messengers you can use as an alternative to BBM right now!
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1. History of BlackBerry Messenger
The history of the BlackBerry Messenger started long before any of the currently popular mobile messengers were released. The BBM was unveiled on August 1, 2005. Originally, the Messenger was only available for the BlackBerry platform, but later iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone users also received an opportunity to chat via BBM.
In 2016, when the Indonesian company Emtek took over the development of the BlackBerry Messenger, the app went through a major redesign. The developing company filled the app with modern features, which increased the user base of BBM.
The BlackBerry Messenger was widely popular with BlackBerry users back in the day, but later, when mobile developers started releasing superior messengers, the popularity of the BBM dwindled. Still, millions of people around the world, including Nigeria, use BBM every day.
2. The shutdown
The news of the BlackBerry Messenger shutting down came out earlier this week. Emtek, the developer behind BBM, didn’t make a secret out of the reason for closing down the app. Their statement mentioned the fact that it has been difficult to compete with other modern messengers. As a result, many users went for the competitors of BBM, while new users have been difficult to sign on to the BlackBerry Messenger.
The app will close down on May 31. If you have any data, photos, and videos stored in the app that you want to download, make sure to do it before May 31, because once the app shuts down, retrieving the data will become impossible. If you have purchased any BBM Stickers in the past, you are eligible for a refund if you claim it until May 31.
3. The alternatives
In case you are one of the millions of users affected by the BlackBerry Messenger shutdown, you are probably wondering right now: what else can you use for exchanging messages and media with other mobile users? Here are the best alternatives to BBM:
- BBMe, which is the enterprise version of the BlackBerry Messenger. This app offers nearly the same functionality as the BBM. It is currently available for Android and will soon be made available for iOS. The first year of the app use is free, and then you will need to pay $2.50 for every 6 months of BBMe use.
- Facebook Messenger, which is the most convenient way to stay in touch with your Facebook friends. You can also add users by their telephone number even if they are not on Facebook.
- WhatsApp, which is one of the most popular mobile messengers on the planet. You can create individual and group chats, exchange media and files, and use WhatsApp from your computer.
- Viber, which is the number one choice for mobile messaging for almost half a million users. Viber is widely used not only for text messaging, but also for voice and video calls.
- Telegram, which is often praised for its approach to security. The messages and other data stored in the app is encrypted, and you can create secret chats to enable end-to-end encryption.
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