BlackBerry is looking to spin off its Messenger (BBM) division as a subsidiary according to a report on WSJ. BlackBerry has setup a special committee recently to explore strategic alternatives or sale of a company, according to the report spinning off BBM will help the company to portray it as a valuable asset. BlackBerry announced back in May that BBM will be made available on rival platforms like Android and iOS.
BBM on Android and iOS is expected this summer, but there is no information till now. Some time back screenshots leaked of the BBM Android version that is undergoing testing with some early users, other than this we don’t know much about it.
BBM will compete with the likes of WhatsApp, Viber WeChat, and other messaging apps which are wildly popular on Android and iOS. WhatsApp has 300 million users worldwide and BBM has 60 million users now, its user base might increase once it launches on Android and iOS but the success of it depends on lot of other factors. BBM is betting on features like BBM Channels that gives brands and celebrities a better way connect with customers and fans.
BBM is also said to be working on some other features than the current set according to the WSJ sources, one of them includes video chatting that is already available for BB users. A version of the BBM is also available for the desktop, but the plans to release it to the public is not clear.
But the move may be too late, as other messaging apps have taken a clear lead in the market and it will be an uphill task for BB to compete with the likes of WhatsApp.