BBM finally switched off last Friday 31st May 2019
It’s hard to believe, in a world today dominated by Android and Apple, that following the Nokia age the most coveted phone by teenagers was the BlackBerry, affectionately known as the ‘Berry’. That’s the world millennials grew up in and many will remember turning down an iPhone in favour of a Berry and the reason it was such a highly desirable handset was BBM – BlackBerry Messenger.
Youngsters with a phone normally had relatively low call minutes and text message allowances but BBM was free, didn’t depend on WiFi availability and if your friends also had a Berry then BBM gave you unlimited messages without having to go running to you parents to beg for a top up.
With the greater proliferation of WiFi, BlackBerry Messenger fell out of favour as platforms such as Whatsapp, Snapchat and Facebook messenger took over. Free from the data allowances of a mobile network, teenagers become adept at finding Wifi and the almost constant connection reduced their reliance of BBM.
That’s largely why BBM was turned off last Friday, the 31st of May 2019. Emtek who took on BBM three years ago confirmed in their sign off statement that users have simply moved on to other platforms and new users were increasing hard to tempt into signing up.
BlackBerry Messenger isn’t totally dead and for businesses will live on for a while as BBMe – BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise which comes with a small $2.50 six monthly subscription fee. The Enterprise version retained by BlackBerry has been opened up to all users so, even if you’re not an enterprise user, you can subscribe if anyone you know is left on BBM that you want to keep in touch with.
Most casual users won’t even notice the passing of BlackBerry Messenger. Much as it was an integral part of their childhood that generation will almost undoubtedly have a network package with unlimited calls and texts and certainly grew up with an innate ability to find and connect to WiFi so will be happily Whatsapping, Snapping and Messengering. BBM was brilliant in it’s time, but it’s time is over so goodbye BBM. It was good knowing you.