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Holding On For Dear Life: BlackBerry Still Thinks BBM Is Relevant


The year 2013 wasn’t great for BlackBerry, but the company says it is moving forward.

The Canadian tech company sent a slew of executives to CES this week to reassure the public about its prospects and to promote its latest products. But unlike last year, when execs proudly showed off BlackBerry 10 smartphones at the consumer electronics trade show, the focus this year was more on the software side.

In October, BlackBerry released its BlackBerry Messaging app for Android and iOS. The instant messaging app quickly amassed 40 million new registered users on those two platforms in the first 60 days.

Now the company is gearing up to release several new BBM features.

Android and iOS users can soon expect free voice calls to any BBM contact anywhere in the world and the ability to subscribe to and create their own “channels” via the social media networking feature BBM Channels.

All versions of BBM will be getting faster and easier sharing of photos, voice notes and location as well as new emoticons.

BBM has been one of the most popular services on BlackBerry devices, but with so many people migrating to other devices, the company is hoping that BBM remains a go-to feature for mobile users regardless of the device.

But with so many competing services in the U.S. and abroad — including regular text messaging, iMessages, Kakao, Line and WeChat among them — BBM will face stiff competition.

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