End of an Era as BlackBerry Messenger calls it a day

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BBM, formerly known as BlackBerry Messenger, which was built for BlackBerry devices for both messaging and voice calls between BlackBerry devices then spread to iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile users will close shop May 31, the firm announced in a blog postafter nearly 14 years of messaging.

“Today we’re announcing that we will be closing BBM consumer service on 31 May 2019. Three years ago, we set out to reinvigorate BBM consumer service, one of the most loved instant messaging applications, as a cross-platform service where users can not only chat and share life experiences, but also consume content and use payment services,” the blog post read.

According to the firm, Instant messaging is a very fluid and competitive market and since 2016 it has tried its best to compete in this market and launch many new features and content that it had hoped would grow the BBM user base. But nothing worked.

“Despite all of our efforts, we found that the network effect of the market leaders is getting stronger and we have been squeezed out of user preferences. We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date.

The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on,” wrote the firm.

Though this is the sunset for the BBM consumer service there is a premium version for its enterprise customers. The enterprise version dubbed BBMe, is available for Android and iOS for free but comes with a $2.50 subscription fee for every 6 months.

But if, like most people, you’ve already moved on, then let us all remember a moment in time when it was considered cool to tell people to find you on an app using a convoluted mixture of numbers and letters as a way to add friends

Users are advised to note that Creative Media Works, a division of PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk. (Emtek) -the Indonesian media, content and technology firm that took over BBM does not store user chats, photos or videos but they are stored in the BBM application on the user’s device.

According to the firm, messages and asset files such as photos, documents and videos are only stored on the BBM servers until they are downloaded by users. If not downloaded within 7 days, these messages and asset files are then deleted.

Once the BBM service is shut down, users will not be able to open BBM on their device to see any old or new messages, or retrieve asset files.

“Once the BBM service is shut down, we will be deleting other data such as channels and feeds which is stored on our BBM servers within 7 days of the service shutting down, other than data we are required to keep for legal reasons.  However, the process to delete data from our Cloud infrastructure will take up to 180 days,” announced CCM.

BBM was once one of the largest mobile messaging applications when it moved beyond BlackBerry devices to record over 100 million installs on Android, iOS, and Windows. Launched in August 2005, BBM users could send text and video and had aspects of commerce and games. Creative Media Works acquired licensing from BlackBerry Limited to use the BBM consumer facing trademark on 27 June 2016. But never made business sense to run BBM hence the closure.