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BBM hits Android with Samsung Galaxy phones in Africa

I guess the wait is over for all you BlackBerry Messenger lovers. Well if you are on Android and own a Galaxy device, that is. According to a CNET report, Samsung has let slip that the new BBM app will be part of Samsung’s Messenger Hub.

“At Samsung we are all about collaboration, innovation and driving consumer experience based on choice, value and customisation to suit every lifestyle. As such, bringing a top-tier messaging service such as BBM is another way that we are expanding the catalogue of our messaging services and offering customers an amazing way to stay instantly connected with colleagues, friends and family,” says George Ferreira, VP and COO of Samsung Electronics Africa.

CNET says that the app will be available “soon” on Galaxy mobile phones such as Samsung Galaxy S4 across Africa from Google’s Play Store or Samsung’s own app store — for free.

Just like on BlackBerry devices, the app will allows users to chat to other BBM users and have groups of up to 30 people. They will also be able to have multi-person chats as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry confirmed that it would roll out the app for other platforms such as Android and iOS though users have been waiting to see the app in app stores for a while now.

The Canadian company has been battling to gain marketshare for a long time now and with messaging platforms like Whatsapp available on all OSes, the motivation for users to stay with BlackBerry for messaging purposes is losing ground.

Currently BlackBerry has not said anything about when BBM will be available for iOS or other Android devices let alone on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.

According to CNET, the feature is still going through some major testing at BB HQ where employees are using it on other devices with family members and friends.

Interestingly with so many users having migrated from their BlackBerry devices to Android and iOS and replaced BBM with Whatsapp, the gamble for BBM will be how to regain that audience as well the challenge to monetise without advertising; something WhatsApp has done particularly well.

Author | Mich Atagana

Mich Atagana
Mich started out life wanting to be a theoretical physicist but soon realized that mathematics was required. So, she promptly let go of that dream. She then decided that law might be the best place for her talents, but with too many litigation classes missed in favour of feminist... More

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