Africa Rocks BBM!












Anyone who has used BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) knows what an awesome and powerful communication tool it truly is – whether you’re on BlackBerry, android or iOS it makes no difference. Given the issues that have recently come to light with other communications apps like WhatsApp, which tracks you and is prone to hacking, BBM provides you with some peace of mind.

Fortunately it doesn’t stop there- it would appear that John Chen’s efforts to monetize BBM could really gained some traction in the African market, specifically South Africa. There are 26 million users of BBM in Africa with the majority coming from Nigeria and South Africa. According to a recent article numbers reveal-

“almost 10 million visits to the BBM shop on a monthly basis and more than 26 million ad requests every day. These numbers have pushed Africa’s position into one of the major markets where monetization strategies are being rolled out and adopted.

Blackberry recently announced plans to launch mobile payment in Africa. The project will introduce a mobile transaction platform on BBM through which users can transfer funds or airtime with the same level of ease used to transfer files and images. The project will allow the company to push growth and enhance its presence in the emerging markets in Africa.

The project will initially be launched in Nigeria where BBM already has a substantial number of users before expanding to other countries. The company reported that more than half a million new users join BBM every month.

The new mobile payment service is expected to help push bigger margins. Blackberry also revealed that the two major markets in Africa are also among the top revenue-generating markets in the world despite the fact that they are viewed as developing markets. They are therefore some of the most opportunistic markets for the company.”


Given the recent success of the Priv in the handset business, monetization of BBM, BlackBerry’s recent purchase of Good further solidifying their dominance in the EMM/MDM market, and continued success of QNX, it appears that John Chen’s ‘4 pillars of restructuring‘ will soon be hitting on all cylinders!


With all this positive momentum, isn’t it about time you came #BackToBlack?




kayaker co-pilot Tucson, it's a dry heat!

  • Martin

    In BBM I trust!

    • razrrob

      I recall hearing a while back that instead of using money people are transferring minutes from their phone plan as a method of payment

  • Alan

    BlackBerry should bring free BBM video to all platforms. I believe this would strengthen BBM in the World including Africa. Just today I have heard from a huge BlackBerry and BBM fan, who admitted he barely uses BBM anymore now that he is has the Priv (this I shocking news to me, and hard to believe). Good to hear about the great success in Africa with BBM. BlackBerry should keep in going by milking the incentive with free BBM video throughout all platform. It would be a good thing for BBM and BlackBerry. Make it happen BlackBerry.

    • razrrob

      First they have to make it work across platforms but in essence I agree. Make it a 60 free trial then pay as you go

  • SipoKapumba

    I believe the majority of those 26 million registered BBM users are on legacy devices – OS4, OS5, OS6 and OS7. When BlackBerry was reigning supreme, a lot of people heard about and saw BlackBerry devices being used by the more affluent. BlackBerry phones were pretty expensive. However, the introduction of the 8520 made them affordable, and more people could afford them. Recently, as I have seen in Zambia, more and more legacy devices, ex-T-Mobile (USA), ex-AT&T and other surplus, but new and refurbished BlackBerry devices, are being imported and they are as cheap as Android phones. However, the major draw is BIS. It is enabling people, students and others on tight budgets, to afford internet access reasonably cheaply. With such access and the increasing number of legacy devices, it is easy to understand why BBM subscriptions are going up. Most smart phone users in Africa are on pre-paid plans. The BIS plans are cheaper than data plans which Android and iOS devices need to access the Internet, which is not cheap in Africa. As more and more Africans are using mobile phones to access the Internet, BIS is a major draw. So, BlackBerry will continue getting that service revenue for a while to come and might re-think scaling down on it. Imagine BB10 device with BIS? That would be a major draw. Scaling down on BIS was a strategy made for developed economies where data is affordable. In my country and others, it proved to be an affordable way to access the Internet and get connected.

  • Anthony

    BBM needs cross platform video. Put advertising and news banners in the free version.

    Degrade the picture or add a “Paper Camera” type filter to the picture to make it less data hungry. locco_smiley_24