Should you try the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) chat app? With the launch of Blackberry Limited's new BBM app for Android and Apple iOS, you may be asking yourself 'Why would I need their app to message others?' BBM offers several benefits, but is it really worth your while?
For international travelers who routinely visit areas outside of Western culture, Blackberry is still the predominant device for mobile users. In fact, any location with a developing network will most-likely still rely heavily on Blackberry devices. If your travels take you to the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia, or the Middle East, it might make sense to try the BBM app. For one, you won't be stuck with exorbitant texting fees when communicating with in-country contacts. Plus, most local points of contact will have memorized their 'PIN,' which is a proprietary log-in number for BBM.
However, if your Android or iPhone doesn't roam or you don't want data rates abroad, BBM will only work when you are logged into a Wi-Fi network. Most nations with developing cellular networks are also lagging in Wi-Fi access.
Not traveling to Indonesia, Nigeria, or Haiti? Other messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Line are worth a try. Each of these have loyal followings around the world (including those places where Blackberry is a stronghold), and all are widely-available across smartphone platforms. The best part, these apps use your telephone number as the log-in, giving you access to your contacts and making it easy to find other users on the same platform.
Adding cross-platform compatibility might be a welcome change for struggling Blackberry Limited. But is this just too little, too late? Test it yourself, perhaps your foreign business contacts will appreciate chatting on their preferred BBM application. However, if you communicate outside of business and government leaders, other messaging apps will probably better-serve your social chatting needs.