After hitting an amazing total of 5 million downloads in the first eight hours, BlackBerry’s BBM messenger app was downloaded more slowly over the rest of the first day–but it still managed to reach over 10 million downloads and top Apple’s iTunes list of best-selling free apps in over 75 nations. Hurrah! But… no.
Though the download rush has a very positive spin for BlackBerry, it’s likely that a good share of users are downloading out of curiosity. After all, there are many alternative chat and messaging apps available. WhatsApp, for example, has a monthly active user base of some 350 million people. And BBM is not going to make BlackBerry much money. Whereas originally, BBM was an attempt to get people to buy actual BlackBerry handsets, it’s going to be much harder to monetize as a third-party app. And BlackBerry’s engineering talent is being fired and hired away very fast.
Remember–the company is in such a hole it just reported a billion-dollar loss.