Earlier this morning, the Android APK package for Blackberry Messenger started floating around various forums and Blackberry themed sites (ahem- Crackberry). It works perfectly when it comes to installing the application and service you can even load it up and view the main starting screen. It simply asks you to create a Blackberry ID or sign-in using an existing account. Of course, that’s really as far as you can go. Unfortunately, the app is not yet in working order and only available to a select handful of initial users.
To translate, in order to use BBM for Android you need to have an existing BBID and it also needs to be whitelisted by the company. It’s not clear whether or not there’s some kind of small scale beta test going on behind the scenes, but since the APK is already available that suggests yes.
It’s quite clear that with the vast amount of buzz surrounding the app, there are plenty of potential users out there waiting for the service to arrive on Android. It’s definitely surprising to see, since naysayers tend to think BBM will have no general impact on the brand once it’s available cross-platform.
Blackberry released a public statement on the matter, which included the following quote:
The excitement around the upcoming launch of BBM for Android and iPhone users is amazing. We want to thank everyone for their enthusiasm, but wanted to let people know that the program is structured so that only those in the beta will be able to use the app. The version we’ve seen on the Web in the last couple of days can be downloaded, but will not work on devices that are not approved in the beta program.
If you have an Android device handy you can track down the APK which is now available from a wide variety of sources. Unfortunately, it has yet to work properly for anyone at this time. It’s worth noting that there probably are a select few users out there testing it out, but they’re pretty tight lipped about it at the moment. It goes without saying this is great news for both the brand and company. Noteworthy buzz is always good to see, perhaps it will translate into sales for the company- or maybe not. Only time will tell what’s going to come of all this news. Again, it’s still good to see a great deal of buzz about the service and platform.
The only thing you’ll be able to do with the app after installing is visit the login screen. That being said, BBM for Android and iOS must be nearing release. By “nearing release” it means within the next few months we should see it available to consumers. Personally, I’m curious to see how Blackberry is going to monetize the platform. Will there be in-app ads? Will various features be locked down to a premium version, or will it be subscription based?
No matter what, I’m definitely looking forward to chatting with my iOS and Android brethren through BBM. What about you?