Blackberry offering BBM tools for free


Blackberry has revealed that it is providing two of its BBM features for free, where they were previously offered at an additional cost as part of the BBM subscription. 

Retract and Timer are part of the update which will be available to all smartphone users, whether they are on a Blackberry, Android or iOS device. 

Timer is similar to Snapchat as allows users to temporarily share messages, pictures and location information, by allocating a specific amount of time to how long this information can be shared with the recipient. 

This differs from Retract, which lets users remove individual messages and pictures after they have been sent in error, from both the user’s and recipient’s devices. 

However, despite this perk, there are concerns over whether or not this BBM update will retain the app’s existing users or attract a new audience. 

Blackberry has also added new controls in terms of location reporting, where users can decide whether or not to make their physical location public, and if so, for how long.

Until Monday, these features were being offered as part of a premium settings package which required a yearly subscription.

John Jackson, IDC research vice president of mobile and connected platforms, commented: "I see the primary benefit going to retaining existing users that now have access to BBM across OS platforms.

"It's another step toward establishing control points for cognitive computing. It's certainly a cloud battle (with regards to) where compute happens, but control of the edge – be it with a messaging app, voice input, a social network, a work 'graph,' or preferably several of the above – is essential. For BlackBerry, in this context, BBM is a platform worth going to the mat for."