BlackBerry has announced that they will be dropping BBM Channels from BBM. In addition, the company will also be dropping cross-platform groups. For the uninitiated, this is technically BBM Enterprise and not BBM for consumers which is run by Creative Media, who produce BBM for Android and iOS.
This is not too much of a surprise as in August of last year, the migration of services and servers from BlackBerry to Emtek began, effectively seperating the data of both versions and companies. In simple terms, as the data is now seperated, it cannot be used in both versions.
BlackBerry has been migrating the BBM Consumer service for Android and iOS devices to our strategic partner Emtek. As part of this process, some of the existing BBM Consumer features on BB10 and BBOS devices will no longer be supported as of June 27, 2018. In addition to the changes for BB10 and BBOS outlined below, BBM for Windows Phone will no longer be supported past June 27.
We recognize and apologize for the inconvenience this will cause some users and we want to reiterate that BlackBerry is continuing to support BB10 and BBOS devices
Due to this data separation, BBM Channels will no longer be available on BB10 and BBOS devices and BBM Groups will no longer support groups with a combination of BB10 / BBOS participants and Android / iOS participants.
While BBM Channels is being removed completely, BBM Groups will continue to support groups with only BB10 and BBOS participants. Of course, users of both BBM’s (yeah I know) will continue to be able to send and receive 1:1 messages with each other.
In addition, the BBM Shop will no longer offer paid sticker packs or subscriptions on BB10 and BBOS devices, though free content will continue to be available and display pictures will not be visible between BB10 / BBOS users and Android / iOS users.
Effectively what has been happening with BBM is that BlackBerry are removing non-essentials and turning BBM Enterprise into what it was (and should be) – a secure Enterprise Mesagging app. At the same time, Creative Media are throwing that much junk into BBM for consumers, it is so far removed from the first-class messaging app that it used to be. While it is now a bit of a joke and living off the BBM mnemonics, it is still quite popular in countries like Indonesia etc.
While it is a shame to see what the consumer BBM is turning into, if BlackBerry wish to effectively promote BBM they really need to make a clearer distinction between the the two versions.
For users still on BB10, BlackBerry suggest the following:
If you currently use BBM Consumer with a BB10 / BBOS device and would like to continue using the existing BBM Consumer features (along with a lot of new features Emtek has made available to Android and iOS users) you can now create a new BBM account on and Android or iPhone and import your existing contacts from BB10 to our new device.
Instructions for transferring contacts to Android are available here
Instructions for transferring contacts to iOS are available here
All the changes will take place on June 27, 2018.