Meet BlackBerry’s Social Network: BBM 2.0

The Canadian smartphone maker unveiled a new version of its messaging app that connects users around topics and interests.

The fervor for BlackBerry phones may have died down, but former CrackBerry addicts have come to embrace BBM, the messenger app that saw 10 million downloads in the first day of it being available on Android and iOS. On Thursday, the Waterloo-based company unveiled BBM 2.0, its attempt at building a social network on top of its most popular product.


The new version of BBM includes voice calls, location sharing, attachments, Dropbox integration, larger chat groups, and a whole host of new emoticons (check out all of the features in the slideshow above). But perhaps most intriguing is the introduction of BBM Channels, which is reminiscent of brand pages on Facebook and Google+.

The idea behind BBM Channels is to connect members of the messaging app around topics and interests. Users, companies, and brands can create channels, which the owners can use to message all subscribers. Whereas before one could only talk to people who explicitly exchanged BlackBerry IDs, Channels opens up the BBM experience to include strangers and brands.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.