Whether it is Blackberry Samsung partnership or it is just Samsung stealing the limelight of Blackberry Messenger’s (BBM) introduction to Android platform, indications are that Samsung is desperate to have a messenger service that works. In 2011 Samsung introduced the ChatON feature that has been included in every Samsung’s flagship phone since then. However ChatON seem not to have inspired many users so Samsung Africa has announced that BBM would become part of Samsung Apps available in the Samsung Messenger Hub.
Samsung is doing own promotion for the inclusion of BBM in Android. Soccer fans in Southern Africa countries were treated to an advertisement of BBM on Samsung Galaxy devices while watching a Man United vs. Chelsea match, last week. Currently the Samsung Kenya Facebook page has this update, “#BBM #BlackBerryMessenger …coming soon to your #GalaxySmartphones” with the picture below.
Is BBM the best choice for Samsung? In the UK it has been reported that although BBM is still the preferred messaging service, new users are opting for Whatsapp and Facebook chat. Blackberry loyalties are also considering to move into Android but they would still like to have the BBM. A few BBM users have expressed excitement to the news that BBM will be available on Android, as they want to still access BBM services while out of Blackberry. A BB user commented thus, “I’ll be leaving the BB platform next month and am thrilled to keep using BBM for my business contacts. Even those for those contacts without BBM, All my business texting/messaging separated from my personal stuff.”
Samsung could basically be targeting the group that intends to join the Android family. But considering the chat ecosystem as a whole, Samsung should realize that the Messenger for the future is probably WhatsApp, and that’s where they could focus on. “Whats the point [of BBM on Samsung] anyway? how much different can it be from whatsapp, and do you guys think we will have to pay for the service? If so I see no use of it, I’ve never been a fan of blackberry’s nor their software. what makes BBM for Samsung so special?” a commentator asked.
The downside of BBM on Android or even iOS is that the ability to allocate data on a per-app basis might not be possible. “Using BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service), a carrier can offer, for example, 100 MB of data per month plus unlimited BBM. Android and iOS can’t partition data on an app-by-app basis, so giving unlimited BBM but limiting data used by the web browser and other apps is impossible for them.Unlimited BBM is one of the main reasons BBM became so popular in emerging markets in the first place”, GregKorman commented at bgr.com.
It is my opinion that if Samsung wants to succeed in the Messenger Services Platform, WhatsApp is the App to invest in.