The end of an era approaches — the consumer-facing version of the once esteemed BlackBerry Messenger will be shutting down on May 31, 2019. This announcement came from a short blog post from Emtek (who handles BBM), with the title "Time to Say Goodbye." Somber news, indeed.
It wasn't too long ago that BBM saw a rebirth, or perhaps more appropriately, a renaissance. BlackBerry attempted to recapture new interest in the service by making it cross-platform. Despite making an honest effort, the BBM team acknowledges that the world has moved onto other messaging services like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram. In the face of this, they are admitting defeat, which is respectable and understandable.
BBM will close for consumers on May 31. You will no longer be able to access things like stickers, emojis, and other core BBM services. You can, however. get a refund for your in-app purchases via the Play Store process and you will be able to export all of your data for download (except for your contacts and feeds). Your DANA balance will remain (which you can access via the DANA app). Other questions are answered on this FAQ page.
Note that this does not affect the enterprise version of BBM, which for all intents and purposes is a separate app altogether.
WATERLOO, Ontario, April 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) announced today that in light of Emtek's decision to end its service of BBM for consumers on May 31, 2019, the company is making BBM Enterprise (BBMe), its enterprise-grade end-to-end encrypted messaging platform, available for individual use. This decision was made out of BlackBerry's respect for loyal BBM users and was not a contractual obligation. It will not affect the company's financial guidance and enterprise software strategy.
"While we respect Emtek's decision, we're disappointed the platform did not thrive and grow as expected," said Mark Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer, BlackBerry. "After much consideration, we decided that BBM's loyal users should continue to have a secure messaging platform that they can trust."
Starting today, users can download BBMe from Android's Google Play store. It will be available in the Apple App Store soon. BBMe will be available for free for the first year. After the first year, a 6-month subscription will be available for USD $2.49.
For 35 years, BlackBerry has provided a secure way for people to communicate. In 2016, the company licensed BBM Consumer to Emtek as part of its transition into a growing billion-dollar security software company – whose technology today is used by the world's largest public and private organizations, as well as embedded in drones, planes, MRI machines, industrial equipment, and more than 120 million vehicles on the road today.
Why Working Professionals Should Say, "BB(Me)"
BBMe is a secure messaging platform that also protects your privacy. Because BlackBerry does not monetize data, the service won't ask for a phone number, suggest contacts to users, nor does it desire to know where users are messaging from, or what is being shared. The service only requires an email address to sign up unlike other apps.
BBMe can be downloaded on any device that uses Android, iOS, Windows or MAC operating systems. The sender and recipient each have unique public/private encryption and signing keys. These keys are generated on the device by a FIPS 140-2 certified cryptographic library and are not controlled by BlackBerry. Each message uses a new symmetric key for message encryption. Additionally, TLS encryption between the device and BlackBerry's infrastructure protects BBMe messages from eavesdropping or manipulation.
From a feature perspective, BBMe users can conduct group chats, voice and video calls, as well as edit, retract, or set an expiration time on a single message. They'll also know when a message is received and read, and have the ability to share files, voice notes, and their location. BBMe for individual use can be used on up to five devices simultaneously.
To learn more about BBM Enterprise for individual use please visit BlackBerry.com/BBMe.