BlackBerry Messenger is no longer attached to BlackBerry devices or BlackBerry operating system. BlackBerry says that it has kicked BBM out of its nest and now the messaging app has to fend for itself. In other words, BlackBerry wants BBM to generate revenue by developing its own business model. This also means that BlackBerry is trying to expand the user base of BBM. Even though, BBM is already one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, BlackBerry wants to increase the amount of time each user spends on it. An increase in usage will automatically increase BlackBerry’s average revenue per user (ARPU).
BlackBerry cannot expand the user-base of BBM without making it accessible to users on other platforms. The company has already done that by making BBM cross-platform. BlackBerry’s native apps for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone have opened BBM to several millions more users. Since going multi-platform in October 2013, BlackBerry has increased the reach of BBM. The messenger now has 91 million users on BlackBerry, Android and iPhone collectively.
Here is how BlackBerry plans to increase its Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). BlackBerry is planning to provide more value to their customers by offering them payments, virtual goods, stickers and other content. For enterprise users BlackBerry will launch their eBBM business suite. For advertisers it will offer Channels, sponsored content and targeted mobile ads.
Advertisers are ditching traditional media (radio, TV, magazines, newspapers etc.) and embracing social media on mobile and desktop for lots of reasons. Customers are online and hence that is where marketers need to promote their products. Also, social advertising is cost-effective and that makes it accessible to small businesses as well.
BBM already has a large number of active users. This makes it a great platform for advertisers. In fact, 72 percent of BBM’s monthly user base uses the service every day. This makes it the most widely used social app – topping both Facebook and WhatsApp.
Games, virtual goods and stickers add value to messaging. A lot of mobile messaging applications have already tried this and made great success. BlackBerry wants to try the same business model. Lots of people listen to music on their mobile phones. This makes music another great fit for BB Messenger. BlackBerry already offers an option to share music in BBM. For example, users can share the songs they are listening to and then those songs will appear in the Feeds of their friends. BlackBerry is also exploring ways to expand the purchase options.
BlackBerry is known for the security of its platform. This makes it ideal for payments. The company has been testing BBM Money in Indonesia for close to one year. Recently they launched a bigger version available to Android, BlackBerry and iOS.
The BBM Protected and eBBM Suite will make mobile messaging more secure by providing enterprise-class security features to regulated industries, governments, and security-conscious companies.
Mobile messaging has great growth potential. BlackBerry already has a hugely popular messaging app. The company is also known for the security and privacy of its system. This guarantees BlackBerry’s success in this sector.