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BBM comes to Samsung Galaxy smartphones

14 August 2013, 12:59Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Samsung announced on Tuesday that BlackBerry Messenger, that chat service popular on BlackBerry devices, will be launched on Galaxy smartphones.

"Offering BBM on Galaxy smartphones in Africa will give Samsung customers access to the BBM social network, including BBM chats, multi-person chats and BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes," Samsung said.

In May, News24 reported that BlackBerry announced the expansion of BBM to non-BlackBerry devices at the company's BlackBerry Live event in Orlando, Florida.

"Upon release, BBM customers would be able to broaden their connections to include friends, family and colleagues on other mobile platforms," BlackBerry said at the time.

The mobile ecosystem has resulted in a range of instant messaging applications that are not device dependant and BlackBerry is highly motivated to expand its service as apps like WhatsApp and WeChat gain momentum.

Reciprocal manoeuvre

Samsung has long had its own messaging app called ChatON, and the company hinted that BBM would augment its own offerings.

"Value added services are considered a prerequisite in the fast-paced, challenging environment that exists today and as a result, we will continue to drive innovation through our smart hub functionalities to ensure our consumers have the choice which they desire," said George Ferreira, vice president of Samsung Electronics Africa.

In what can be interpreted as a reciprocal manoeuvre, ChatON was available on the BlackBerry World store from 6 August

BBM has around 50 million monthly active users who send about 10 billion messages per day. The platform is also due to be launched on iOS, but no dates have been announced.

The BBM for Samsung Galaxy phones will be available on Google's Play Store.

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