Considered one of the most secure messaging applications at one point in time, BlackBerry Messenger officially shut down yesterday. BBM as it was popularly known, had seen a steady decline in users thanks largely to the arrival of competitors like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, WeChat, and so on.
While BBM’s secure messaging feature did attract plenty of customers (initially), things changed the moment its rivals adopted the much glorified end-to-end encryption, thus pretty much leveling the playing field.
Many might not know that BlackBerry Messenger was acquired by Indonesia based media giant Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek) for $207.5 million roughly around three years ago. The idea was to bring all of the local Indonesian TV channels and original content to BBM users in the country.
In what was considered a last attempt at survival, Emtek even added the Uber app into BBM. Clearly, this didn’t work out all too well as keeping customers onboard became a challenge. Emtek wrote in a blog post:
We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date. The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on
Emtek says that it will continue to offer BBM Enterprise as an alternative for the time being. BBM Enterprise is a messaging service that is similar to the BBM that’s just been shut down but while the service will only be free for the first year, users will have to pay for a subscription after the first year.
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