The troubled rollout of BlackBerry's BBM messaging app for iOS, coupled with its recent business issues, had some pundits doomsaying about the company's future. We may have had a few thoughts on the matter here at TUAW. But ultimately the only opinion that matters is the customer base, and it is happy -- and growing.
Since the rollout of BBM for iOS and Android, BlackBerry has gained 20 million active users for a total of 80 million users. Andrew Bocking, EVP of BBM, has this to say about the gains.
It is great to see so many people downloading BBM, but the true measurement for us is engagement – the connections being made and the conversations in which our BBM community engages.
BlackBerry points specifically to the active user numbers as a point of pride. The difference between bragging about downloads and bragging about active users is stark. Later on in his statement, Bocking explained why.
The company plans on adding new features to the BBM app in the coming months, including video calling, voice calls and a new social community service for connecting with other BBM users.
The power of BBM has always been the active, real conversations and interaction that our customers enjoy. From here on out, we will focus on active users of BBM and will no longer focus on simple download numbers."