Waterloo, Ontario – Just as Blackberry aims to make a resurgence via the use of their popular app called Blackberry Messenger (BBM), they have rolled out a new initiative to cash in on the apps popularity: advertising content in BBM. Blackberry claims to respect the fact that users find advertising annoying and do not expect the level of advertising to reach that point. Hint: plenty of users find any amount of advertising annoying. At the risk of making BBM get a cheap shareware look and feel, Blackberry has begun to pitch these new advertising opportunities.
In fact, BBM brand channels already allow for sponsored content to be displayed from vendors such as MarketWatch, Disney, and Rolling Stone Magazine. As per BBM Senior Director David Proulx these types of ads were natively built into BBM. Proulx again emphasized that sponsored content will be limited, but yet offer ways to BBM users to connect to select channels with brand name advertisers. He was very clear that no such sponsored advertising will sully chats.
However, that pronouncement may end up being what are known as “weasel words” because there is an initiative in place to do just that: advertise in chats. It would be done via what are known as “stickers”. These are special emoticons which BBM users buy to express feelings to their BBM chat partners. Some of the “stickers” may end up being tied to certain brands.
BBM currently has a user base of 85 million people. While that is large, it pales in comparison to WhatsApp which is a multiple of that size. WhatsApp was recently acquired by Facebook. It should be noted that it was only last year that Blackberry decided to port their popular messaging tool to the iPhone and Android platforms. Blackberry’s future will rest on the success of BBM.