What are the strengths of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) over SMS or even IM?
I keep seeing advertisements on various buses, billboards, and bus stops around San Francisco, touting the benefits of BBM. As someone who's never owned a BlackBerry device, what are some of the benefits of BBM over something like regular IM or SMS / MMS?
It seems somewhat antiquated, but I recognize that might just be because I don't understand it.
That's really useful. And it's also built into each BB (i.e. it doesn't require installation). For those of you who think SMS is a better solution, bear in mind that some US carriers charge for sending and receiving international SMS, which can get troublesome if you have contacts overseas.
That said, BBM isn't enough to get me to use a BB, I much prefer my Droid.
I think Blackberry Messenger is one of the most misunderstood services there are. The basic difference with IM systems is permanence. There is no login/logout, online/offline concept. You send a message it gets out (and you know it), if the other device is on and with service it gets delivered (and the sender knows it), When it is opened, the sender, again, knows it. I don't know why other IM Systems do not work this way. Since the system is device dependent (not SIM dependent) through a PIN number, the security is that of your phone. If you have it, it's secure, nobody else can impersonate you from elsewhere (as with all systems there are some attacks that can still be performed, particularly through social engineering). The difference with SMS is the ability to easily chat in groups and the delivery/opened receipts.
Security is a huge point for Blackberry, particularly if you use the Blackberry Enterprise Server, then all data is encrypted (through a public/private key system). The security of the consumer service (Blackberry Internet Service) is not as strong, and it is decreasing all the time, but it will thwart a casual eavesdropper, where other IM systems won't. The security is thorough throughout the device allowing normal things like a password, but adding strong stuff like encrypted data, encrypted memory, secure wipe, remote wipe, etc (some of these are optional and user configurable). The fact that the device PIN, email, and phone are not interconnected makes it a very nice system from a privacy/security point of view.
The price of the plans are very attractive too. You can get unlimited Blackberry data for about 30$ and an unlimited international service for another 30$. This way you can use BBM all over the world to keep in touch with other BBM users. A caveat, this is a unlimited ONLY for Blackberry Services, if you use apps or other stuff you may incur in extra charges.
So far, all praise, now come the bad news. The Blackberry OS is crap from a user stand point, and the new devices like the torch are underpowered compared to other smartphones. Also, new mobile IM services like WhatsApp are copying the Blackberry Messenger model, thus making users move to better devices with ease.
I have the same question. I never really understood the premise of BBM over SMS, especially since smartphone OSes (and some dumbphones) now have threaded conversations. I just don't see the point of locking out everybody but BlackBerry users when you can just uses SMS and everyone and their mother can join the party.
You'll notice that all these BBM ads don't really go into why it's so great, they just advertise it as being something special that makes a Blackberry worth having. But it's really not, it's barely more than text messaging. It's hard for me to understand all these people who just won't give up their blackberry because they need BBM that much.
It's still popular with the kids as a replacement for text messaging since it's unlimited. They don't use it as IM, but also I'm only speaking about people I know who use it the most (teens and 20-somethings).
We use it at work for our team. Group chats, group calendar and group task list are the big ones. Also when you send a direct message you can see that it was delivered to their phone and again that it was read.
99.99% of the people I know own a BB, here it is VERY popular, because of the BBM. On my iPhone, I use this cross-platform app called WhatsApp, which I made my closest friends and family to install on their BBs (It is available for Android too). It works mostly fine, and is a good alternative to BBM. Of course, it is not compared to the BBM community, cause, as I said, most of the people I know owns a BB. So for example, I can see any of my friend's contact list from their BB, and they sure have 100+ people on BBM. Compared to our WhatsApp list, which it barely passes the 20 people.