August 1, 2005. That’s the day that hundreds of people started downloading BlackBerry Messenger v1.0 for the very first time as BlackBerry Principal Architect and main creator of BBM, Gary Klassen nervously sat at his desk. Originally planned for release as a part of BES 4.1, only a small number of employees were involved with the first version of BBM, which was to be called QuickMessenger until Jeremy Kettle came up with the term BBM – BlackBerry Messenger – during a meeting. A name that ultimately ended up being added to the English Collins Dictionary in 2012.

Speaking on those beginnings with the Inside BlackBerry Blog, Jonathan Nobles, the first product manager for BBM in 2005 recalled some of the early days of BBM.

“We were experimenting with various instant messaging ideas. We discovered that if we took the existing PIN to PIN solution and wrapped it in a nice GUI (Graphical user interface), we had a great product”.
A highlight of the early days confirmed by BlackBerry Principal Architect and main creator of BBM, Gary Klassen, who noted.

“PIN to PIN [messaging] always had D’s and R’s,” he said, referring to status updates showing when messages were Delivered and Read by users, “but they weren’t on by default”. Turning those features on in BBM created a pioneering sense of real-time presence that’s now standard for many instant messaging applications.

“BBM was the first form of text communication that was instant, cross-carrier, and mobile, in a time when people were still attached to their PCs,” says Klassen, who still invents things as a principal architect at BlackBerry. “With desktop IM’s, you could show up as ‘online’, but you might not be at your computer. BBM was the first to be always with you, and you were truly always ‘online’.”
From there, BBM grew immensely thanks to the speed in which messages were delivered in addition to its low-bandwidth requirements. Today, new features have taken BBM to a level that was never really thought of at the time of its original development. As the Inside BlackBerry Blog notes, BBM has now become a social media platform, a medium for advertising, gaming and m-commerce, and the foundation of business-collaboration and highly-secure messaging services.


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Much has been discussed and advertised about Samsung S4,  iPhone 5, Blackberry 10 and a slew of Android clones. My boss has recently bought a Nokia Lumia, Blackberry Z0, Samsung S3 and an Philippine-brand Android phone.  He has been trying to entice me to buy any one of these phones, but I am just so not an all-screen touchphone. No, I do not need 40plus icons and apps in my phone. I want my phone minimal and clutter-free. That is why.

I am a QWERTY guy.

I used to love Nokia, but when the company gave us Blackberry (BB), my whole outlook for what is my ideal phone should be changed overnight.

I mean, I was amazed then that for an affordable subscription, I have 24×7 access to internet apps and have my emails (10 of it) pushed into my BB.

I joked to my boss that if he is on iOS or Android, and I am on BB, if we get stranded in a place with no wifi but a phone signal is around, what would he do without internet access? Probably rub his finger till it bleeds flicking on his smartphone screen, while there I was, checking my Facebook, Twitter and emails. Ha!

Yes, iOS and Android can subscribe to Internet also, but hey, unless you’re on a plan, you’d be dead worried about losing credit on your phone if you hang around on your facebook. But I never have that worry on my BIS.

Ah, not even the appearance of BB Z10 can change my aversion to an all-touchscreen phones. I just can’t see the fun there of having to use my two hands to use a touchscreen phone. Whereas, I can use one hand and a finger to utilize my QWERTY BB.

And so I wait for the BB Q10 to become available in my village, and then I will bequeath my Bold 9900 to my kid.

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