BBM to shut down services by May-end

Chennai: BBM, once a pioneer of encrypted peer-to-peer communication, has announced that it will shut down its consumer service on 31 May, after losing out to competitors like WhatsApp and WeChat.

BBM, in a blog post, said it had set out to “reinvigorate” BBM consumer service three years ago as a cross-platform service where users can not only chat but also consume content and use payment services. However, consumers will have the option of moving to BBMe — BlackBerry’s enterprise messaging offering.

“We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date…Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on,” it added.

In 2016, BlackBerry had licensed BBM Consumer to Emtek as part of its transition process. Much like BlackBerry phones, BBM also lost preference as users moved to feature-rich Android and iOS smartphones. Created in 2005, BBM was available as a key offering on BlackBerry handsets.

“The technology industry, however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on…Despite all of our efforts, we found that the network effect of the market leaders is getting stronger and we have been squeezed out of user preferences,” BBM said in its blog.

NT Bureau