When Blackberry Messenger for Android was announced, we were pretty excited. It wasn’t necessarily because BBM is still this great, mystical messaging service that only a few select people had access to, but because we’d finally be able to chat with our friends who were too stubborn to drop Blackberry. The release date was initially set for “this summer,” but we might have a tighter idea of what that means.
According to Indian publication IBN Live, Blackberry India’s managing director Sunil Lalvani has pegged Blackberry’s release date by the end of September. That wasn’t a terribly tough guesstimation considering the original launch window of “end of summer” lies on September 22nd,” but that could have meant any month between now and then.
The biggest question is this: who still cares? After thinking about it, there really is no reason to be too excited. Perhaps we’d feel differently if it were still 2010 and Android didn’t already take off, but considering how the mobile industry has changed over the short course of just a few years the magnitude of the release isn’t nearly as big.
For starters, who still owns Blackberry devices? I know it’s still a big deal in enterprise, but the common consumer has voted with their wallet — even Windows Phone is more of a viable option at this point in time. (And that’s not a shot at Windows Phone, but it’s just the way things are.) I don’t know anyone who owns a Blackberry device anymore, so there’s no reason for me to want to sign up for BBM.
Conversely, those who still have a Blackberry device probably aren’t using BBM much anymore, either — all their friends have moved on to Android and iOS, and they’re already likely invested in a device-agnostic service that already exists.
Services like GroupMe and WhatsApp have quickly taken over as nice alternatives, and Google Hangouts will surely make its way to the likes of Blackberry and Windows phone eventually. If group messaging is still your thing, Blackberry Messenger is no longer the holy grail, and is little more than a token of nostalgic memories.