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.


BBM Money users in Indonesia can now pay for goods and services online and in stores

By Bla1ze

While we’re still waiting to hear some news about BBM Money for the U.S. and Canada, BlackBerry last week held an event to update media and the Android, BlackBerry and iOS communities in Indonesia on the latest additions to BBM Money that for the first time brings Instant Mobile Payments to users of the app on all major platforms and allows them pay for goods and services online and in stores – regardless of who they bank with.

As many of you already know, BBM remains the most popular messaging app in Indonesia, particularly on devices running Android. However, in addition to the popularity and renown that BBM commands in Indonesia, there are three trends making Indonesia the obvious choice in which to launch a mobile money scheme.

Firstly, with 250 million people experiencing rapid economic development, e-commerce in Indonesia is booming. In fact, e-commerce is growing at the second-fastest pace globally, behind only China.

Secondly, while the use of mobile messaging seems commonplace in Indonesia, smartphone penetration has only just reached 20%. The rate of adoption is among the highest in the world, however, meaning the first experience of the internet for most Indonesians today is from a smartphone. This presents an amazing opportunity for the growing number of innovative and entrepreneurial online retail startups in the country to attract new customers via their smartphones – and is where the BBM Mobile Ad Platform and BBM Channels come into their own.

Thirdly, less than 20% of Indonesians have access to a traditional bank account. Moreover, just 11% of the 250 million inhabitants of Indonesia have debit cards and only 3% have credit cards. This means there are more BBM users in the country than there are debit and credit card users combined. For anyone without access to a bank account or payment card, what could be more convenient than a mobile payment service deeply integrated with the mobile messaging service they love so much?

Following an update to the BBM Money app for Android, BlackBerry and iOS, our customers can now use Instant Mobile Payments to pay for goods and services online and in participating retailers’ stores, regardless of who they bank with. The payment happens instantly without the need to make a trip to an ATM to transfer money to the merchant.

To celebrate Ramadan – the busiest buying season of the year in Indonesia – we are working with a group of retailers, all of which already accept Instant Mobile Payments via BBM Money. These include leading fashion, electronics, food and gift retailers – but the team is hard at work signing up more and more merchants, as we continue building the BBM Money ecosystem in Indonesia.

As for when BBM Money will expand beyond Indonesia, Matthew Talbot, Senior Vice President – Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry noted ‘The answer is that payment services aren’t simple to replicate from one market to the next, given the complexity of local regulations and banking systems. However, we are actively looking at other markets with traits similar to Indonesia, where it would make sense for us to invest in similar BBM-linked payment services. I’ll ensure we keep you updated on any news in this area’. You can read the full post over at the Inside BlackBerry blog.

I have been a Blackberry user for almost 6 years now. One thing I liked with BB is the BIS subscription. The 30-day BIS is superb and unmatched by any other smartphone data plan category.  This is one of the compelling reasons why I stay with Blackberry.

In my present BIS, my apps like Facebook, YM, Twitter, Wechat, Whatsapp, Viber are always on. I have no worry on my data usage. And for as long as their is a provider signal, I am always guaranteed Blackberry service. Ain’t that great?


And here comes the BB10. SO much hoopla on it and I was almost taken in by its features. But as the issue on data plan starts to hit early users of BB10s, I have to review my “upgrade” plans and be realistic. Realistic means that if BB10 is no longer BIS, but local data plan (from local provider)  then it is no different compared to iPhone and Androids when it comes to guzzling your data plan.
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I have lost appetite over upgrading to BB10 because of the shift to data plan. If the rumors are true that eventually, BIS will be phased out even for non-BB10, then I think I go for the Droidz if I upgrade my phone.

And so I think that BB10 will be responsible for the loss of sizable BB users, like me. I do feel cheated over the idea that my data usage is “consumable”. And if I make mistake of keeping my FB and Twitter on, my supposedly 30-days subscription will finished in just a week.

I’ll stay with my 9900 with BIS. Happy for now.


UPDATE: July 22, 2013

Bad news. I discovered last weekend that my provider MTN Nigeria has quietly applied data plan to BIS. I was doing BB Hotspot and my extra credit/load of 3000 naira disappeared. And after that, my BB services like BBM, push mails and apps were disabled, even when there is EDGE.  I loaded 500 naira, and the services were restored.

That means that my BIS was consumable if I used bandwidth heavy activities like BB Hotspotting. I wonder if having FB 24×7 will also wipeout my credit. Sent an email to MTN for clarification because I have not received any notifications about any changes to the BIS subscription. This is thievery.

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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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