Most people are aware that text messaging, though still very popular, is under serious pressure from instant messengers like BBM and its lesser brethren iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and so on. Carriers make a lot of money from SMS and they aren’t going to let that revenue stream die without a fight.
As UTB Contributor Hurds pointed out, BlackBerry has a plan to be on the carriers’ good side.
Some of the details were made clear on the BlackBerry Blog:
The first [category of messaging solution] is providing BBM to carriers as a channel for delivering ads, content, or payment solutions directly to their wireless subscribers. This is available in markets of BBM strength, where it’s used by over 10% of the smartphone population (in Indonesia, South Africa, etc.).
The second category is strategic partnerships. Together, BBM and carriers can combat IM apps and the mutual threat of reduction in SMS revenues through a co-branded BBM product called “Messages.” It’s identical to BBM and supports customization of branding, content, and services within a standard framework.
We’re offering BBM as a free solution that offers carriers turnkey RCS support on a revenue-share basis. It’s a powerful response to the OTT players that are eradicating operator SMS business.
As Hurds said, “to me that reads BlackBerry is willing to partner with carriers and share profits on messaging. What other IM app has that? Or anything remotely close to that? It’s pure genius – no other IM has carrier backing”. I have to agree.