This is turning out to be really interesting. While Blackberry Messenger remains very popular, it is hard to imagine the levels of excitement it has generated amongst a totally foreign crowd: iPhone and Android users. These are not your typical Crackberry fans (okay, some maybe since people have moved from Blackberry devices in droves over the years) but they love BBM. Or maybe they’re just curious. Truth is, the chaos that Blackberry foresaw and decided to make people queue, have been vindicated. Prior to yesterday’s rollout, about 6 million of us had pre-registered to have any news about the app sent directly to our inboxes. When it was released prematurely in select markets and then leaked on the internet a month ago during that aborted launch attempt, over a million people downloaded it legally and illegally totally bringing the BBM team to its knees. So it came as no surprise when the BBM team took to its official blog and Twitter a couple of hours ago to announce boldly to the world of their new achievement: BBM has been downloaded over 10 million times on both Android devices and iPhones.
10 million for an app is not a small number. That is before you even factor in the many other people who are yet to get access to the app leave alone registering to use it like the many in Africa who don’t own Samsung devices and are waiting for Samsung’s exclusivity window to elapse before the app pops on the Google Play Store. Even then there are still many aspiring souls out there who will be locked out of the BBM rush thanks to their devices running older software. These are people with older iPhones that are still stuck on older versions of iOS and Android users whose devices run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and below. BBM for Android’s minimum requirements are you be running at least Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. With the latest figures from Google showing that at least 70% of the Android user base is running Android 4, that means 30% of all Android devices still aren’t getting any BBM love. Imagine if they were capable!
On the app stores that the app is available, BBM is already topping the charts. It is already grossing Apple App Store rankings and has been ranked at the very top in over 75 countriees including the US, UK, Canada and the Middle East (where BBM use on Blackberry devices was so popular at some point that the governments wanted to shut down the service). On the Google Play Store, the app has attracted 87,000 reviews 67,000 of those being 5 star reviews.
Well in BBM!