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February 28, 2014

BBM on Nokia X, Lumia and, possibly, Asha

This week at Mobile World Congress, BlackBerry confirmed to Conversations that its hugely popular messaging app, BBM, will become available on both the new Nokia X and Windows Phone platforms later this year. But is there more to come?

The last four months has been a picture of app success for BlackBerry’s once proprietary BBM service, with more than 50 million new registrations from iPhone and Android users added within the first 90 days of multi-platform availability.


Now, the forthcoming launch of BBM on the Nokia X and Windows Phone platforms looks set to grow this base even further, as David Proulx, BlackBerry’s Senior Director of BBM, explained to Conversations:

“Through our relationship with Nokia, we see a great opportunity to increase the reach of BBM, particularly in emerging markets, many of which are already strong spots for BBM. With Nokia being such a proactive and engaged partner to work with, it really simplifies this process and provides us with even greater opportunities going forward.”

It’s conceivable that the arrival of Nokia X will be some people’s first experience of an internet-connected smartphone, so we asked what BBM offers that other messaging apps don’t.

Proulx was quick to respond: “Whether it’s South-East Asia, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, Latin America or the Middle East, BBM is already the pre-eminent messaging service in these markets, so we see Nokia X as a great opportunity to enable our existing users in these markets to grow their BBM contact lists to connect with friends, family and colleagues using Nokia X or Lumia smartphones.”

When asked whether there’d be any specific Nokia X or Nokia Lumia BBM personalization, Proulx was keen to point out the significant value to be had from exploiting the look and feel of each platform:

“On Windows Phone, the Live Tiles interface is a great way to manifest the live and ever-changing nature of your BBM community.”


BlackBerry has long been the choice of well-heeled business types, citing its watertight security and privacy as key USPs – an underlying message that’s carried through to BBM, as Proulx explains:

“BBM operates under a mutual authentication model whereby you need to request people to connect with. They need to accept that request before any communications can take place. You therefore determine your BBM social graph. We also wanted to make it easy to find your friends on BBM so anyone using BBM will be able to see who from their existing contacts is already using BBM so that they can connect with the people that they know. You also have the choice of inviting non-BBM contacts, where they will be given the option to download the app, regardless of whether they’re using a Windows Phone, Nokia X, Android, iOS or BlackBerry device.”

Conversations also broached the idea of BBM on Asha and hence unifying the messaging service across all Nokia devices.

“We want BBM to be as broadly available as possible so in this context, I wouldn’t rule anything out, especially considering the great partnership we have forged with Nokia this week.”

What do you think of BBM coming to Nokia X and Lumia? Will you use it? And would Asha users welcome BBM? Let us know in the comments, below.