Among its other announcements yesterday, BlackBerry announced the beta launch of BBM Channels, a new social engagement platform within BBM that will allow people to connect with the businesses, brands, celebrities and groups they are passionate about.
BBM Channels allows individuals and groups to create a dedicated channel and share information and updates quickly. BBM customers around the world will be able to connect and share information, broadcast about themselves to their channel, or join their favourite communities and share their experiences of the channel with their BBM contacts
“BBM is the best way to stay connected, and with today’s announcement, we’re again expanding the capabilities of the service to provide a deeper real-time engagement experience for people to connect with brands, business, and communities that matter most to them,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President – Software Product Management and Ecosystem, BlackBerry. “With over 60 million highly engaged customers using BBM, content creators have a great opportunity to build deeper relationships, enhance their brands, and connect in new ways.”
BBM Channels – At the beta launch
Starting today, BBM customers can connect and share the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team on their BBM Channels. Interestingly, BlackBerry is working with leading global brands around the world to help them build and promote new BBM Channel offerings.
Using BBM Channels, BBM users can:
- Create a channel – Users can create, edit and publish quickly. They can have as many followers as they may in their channel. Users can safely manage their channel from either a BlackBerry smartphone or the web.
- Discover channels – BBM Channels includes a carousel that allows users to discover new channels. They can share channel invites within a BBM chat, and people can be added or invited using the channel’s PIN or QR code.
- View – BBM users can view profiles for each BBM Channel they choose to follow.
- Subscribe – Subscribing to a channel allows the channel owner to send the user timely and relevant updates, giving the subscriber instant access to news, deals, events or whatever the user wants to communicate. Subscribers can choose to receive notifications when new posts are available.
- Participate – Users can participate and engage in conversations with their favourite people or communities by “Commenting” and “Liking” posts from channels they subscribe to. Channel owners have the option to directly chat one-on-one with a subscriber.
- Monitor engagement – There are built-in measuring tools to assess and monitor follower engagement and interaction.
Alongside its announcement of the beta launch of BBM Channels, the company also announced plans to bring BBM to iOS and Android users this summer. BlackBerry expects that iOS and Android users will also be able to experience BBM Channels later this year, subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play.
As for the availability, BBM with BBM Channels is now available in beta for BlackBerry 10 smartphones as well as BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 5 through 7.1. For BlackBerry OS customers, BBM Channels is part of the new BBM version 8, which also offers navigation tools with tabbed viewing for quick and easy access to contacts, chats, groups, recent updates and BBM Channels.
Furthermore, it allows the option to share your enhanced profile information with BBM contacts or within invitations. The beta releases can be downloaded for free on BlackBerry Beta Zone. Customers can sign up to BlackBerry Beta Zone for free at www.BlackBerry.com/betazone. For more information about BBM, please visit www.blackberry.com/bbm.