Why You Should Love BBM Part 1 – Having To SMS


Once upon a time I thought of BBM as just ‘fancy texting’. Many of my friends had BlackBerry’s but we texted. I didn’t really see the point in BBM – frankly, I didn’t understand it and neither did they. I used to visit CrackBerry and people would go on and on and on about BBM as this great, amazing thing ‘the best Messenger on the planet’ and I’d scoff and say… eh?


It was only as I took the plunge I started to get the idea. But it wasn’t clear to me before I did why I should. In that, you could, if you like, see me then as all those who look at you now in wonderment as you go on about BBM as to why THEY should try it.

Yeah, yeah, it’s just fancy texting…

So, in an occasional series which, due to just how much it does just might damn near kill me, here’s just the START of the reasons why your friends should use BBM…

First up, you may not have realised it but you REALLY appreciate BBM when you have to SMS…

Yes, it’s true. You will have friends who either can’t, or won’t, download BBM. In which case you may have to converse with them via SMS and this is when you realise just what you take for granted – it’s the simple things, you see.

No D and R

Oh, the grey tick. It’s gone to the network but has it got there? Well, if you didn’t know there’s a setting in your Hub (Overflow>Settings>Text Messages>Confirm Delivery) that at least gives you a ‘D’. But have they read it? Well, it could be a while before you find out because…


SMS is SO SLOOOOWWWWW. I could have had 5 or 6 chats in BBM the time it takes SMS to respond and slooowwly moovvvee it’s waaayyy dooownnn the screeennn. But do I know if this chat is active? Well, no because…

‘Is Writing A Message’

Seriously. You REALLY don’t appreciate those words until you don’t have them anymore. ‘Is Writing A Message’ let’s you know if the conversation is continuing or if you are pretty much done. Try it for yourself! SMS a BBM contact and I guarantee after each time you press send your eyes will flit to the top of the screen to see if they are replying. Oh, and don’t forget, since there’s no ‘R’, you can’t see if they’ve read it!

144 Character Limit

Aaaaaarrrggghh!!! Remember when people used to send you jokes on SMS where the second (or third) part of the joke would arrive before the first? Oh, how we laughed!


But on SMS you trained yourself to stay below those magic 144 characters. You watched the little number 1/7 so that it didn’t become 2/7 or 3/7 because you KNEW it wouldn’t get to the other end ok. NOW you’re on BBM! You’re used to typing as much as you like! Which makes it almost inevitable that you will end up going over the limit and the other person gets the first message, or the second one, maybe 4 hrs later because…

SMS Relies On Your Network Carrier

Bless them, They really do try their best. Is it instant? Or are they busy? Oh look, it’s New Years Eve, your SMS arrives on 3rd January! Your BBM however… BAM! And I can see you got it by the D and whether you had time to read it by the R!

Pictures Take Forever – And Could Cost You Money!

Never mind when they’ll arrive, sending an MMS (in the UK particularly) could cost you extra without you even knowing it. Over here, with an Unlimited SMS plan it costs £1 to send an MMS! YES! It’s at the back of your bill! Come to think of it, when was the last time YOU checked wasn’t actually in your SMS bundle?

BBM Saves You Cash

Why bother getting Unlimited SMS on your bundle when all your contacts are on BBM? Bingo! You just saved yourself money every month on your contract. Just go for the lowest SMS plan but as much data as you can grab.

And All The Good Stuff

That SMS can’t do, all the features packed into BBM that I’ll deal with another day.

Either way, I don’t know about you but when you get THAT person who REFUSES to download BBM and will only text you that I find myself staring at my phone and saying…


Even my Mum.

And she’s on a feature phone, so she can’t.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.

  • newcollector

    I hope you write the rest of the series soon. I am sending this to my two iPhone sons so they can finally get what i’ve been telling them.

  • sfor13thlegion

    I will never, for the life of me, understand those who refuse to use BBM or any other IM program, for that matter.

    These folks are content to use that 1990s tech that is text message.

    It’s horrible and when you show them just how much better BBM is, they look at you like you’ve got three heads.

    I’ve got several friends and colleagues who absolutely cannot be swayed to try it and happily text their messages whilst complaining about text. I’ve tried to convince them to try some of the other crappy IM services, but they refuse to try.

    Some have the latest iteration of iDevice, and don’t have a data package, so they can’t use BBM.

    I just don’t get it….

  • ray689

    BBM has no competitor in my mind. Yes there are many who copied but none have managed to replicate the speed, security and ease of BBM.

  • Blackjack

    Great post Biggly! Another thing is nobody has to give out their phone number to get connected!

    We BlackBerrians take BBM so much for granted, it annoys me as well when people get uneasy about using it especially in i-Droid land. Too bad for them also, they don’t have a hub to integrate into, so they often miss notifications.

    Instead of telling them to download BBM I just tell them to get a BlackBerry if they want to talk to me.

  • jubatus

    Bbm has saved me hundreds of dollars in long distance calls. I love the voice quality. I also love the video quality with my BlackBerry contacts. I’M just wondering when will we have cross platform Bbm video. BBM Meetings is fantastic I hear button we consumers need that cross platform one on one Bbm video.