BlackBerry announced on Monday the launch of its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service on iPhone and its relaunch on Android. BBM played a big role in the early growth of the BlackBerry platform, and it is now playing a role in BlackBerry's efforts to remain relevant in a highly competitive smartphone industry dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iPhone.
The company made the announcement on its corporate blog, and said that the initial rollout would be limited to the, "millions that took the time to sign up at BBM.com" ahead of the rollout. Other people will be able to use the service later, and the company said, "we are focused on moving millions of customers through the line as fast as possible."
BBM is a texting/instant messenger service that is similar to Apple's iMessage today. It allows users to text with one another without using cell carrier texting plans, and it also includes video call capabilities like Apple's FaceTime.
BlackBerry initially launched it on Android in September, but that launch collapsed, and BlackBerry had to pull it shortly afterwards. The limited rollout for those who signed up for notifications should make Monday's launch smoother.
A BBM app is available on the App Store as a free download. Here's what it looks like:
BBM Chat, Plus All Your Friends Are Attractive!