Home Columns Anantha Narayan To BBM or not?

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    With BlackBerry Messenger now on Android and iOS, Chennai takes stock

    It’s hard to imagine BlackBerry going back to what it was in 2008. But its latest strategy has worked across the globe. Within days of releasing its BBM messenger app on other platforms (Android and iOS), the company witnessed over 20 million downloads. That said, the real test is if those who downloaded the app in the first month will stick around for longer.

    The good news

    So why the rush for the BBM app when we already have WhatsApp? “Your status and profile photo are accessible to a select group of people,” says Tania Samtani, director at Stereovision, and an iPhone user. For restaurateur Vipin Sachdev, it’s a blessing. “I was a BlackBerry user for 12 years. Recently, I moved to HTC (Android) following the poor performance of Q10. But I still need to carry it as all my contacts are in this one. After I got the app, I was able to get my 1,600 contacts on my HTC handset.” For Siddharth Rao, head-IT at India Pistons,  it means security, “Since the contacts are only added after your approval, it is quite safe to post your PIN and have people add you.’’

    The downside

    Since you need to exchange pins, it might take months to build up a contact list, according to Rao. Also, the former can have up to only 30 users in a group chat as compared to 50 in the latter. For Android users, Sachdev mentions that the option of making categories is not avaiable, as opposed to the iOS platform. “BBM has a brand recognition with the number of ex-Blackberry users, so people are eager to try it out – it will be interesting to see how the usage is once the initial novelty of BBM wears out, ” concludes Rao.

    Details: play.google.com, itunes.apple.com

    Madhuwanti Saha

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