Features in the popular messenger app may offer the slowly recovering handset maker the opportunity to bring in money.
While always popular among BlackBerry users, the BBM messenger app has managed to generate an additional 85 million (or more) users since it opened up its doors to users of Android devices and iPhones, but it was never anything that generated actual revenue for the company.
That could be changing in an upcoming update for the mobile app, as new features add an additional revenue stream.
BlackBerry Ltd. is now considering the use of its BBM messaging platform as an ad space that could help to build some additional revenue in an environment in which its traditional handset business has been dwindling. This company, based in Waterloo, Canada, has now announced that it will be launching an upgrade for the mobile app that will include new features such as the BBM Shop. That will offer what they have called a “sticker”, which is an enhanced form of emoticon.
The stickers through BlackBerry’s BBM will be distinct and will be linked to various popular brands.
These stickers will bring branding into the emoticon environment and will – at least at the start – focus on products that are particularly popular among younger BBM users in the Asian region. The BBM Shop will also provide users with a range of other virtual products, and the proceeds could be shared by the handset manufacturer and the advertisers. Marketers who pay to provide free promotional stickers over the mobile app could also be another way for the company to earn an income.
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Along with the updates, the company also intends to launch a secure mobile payments platform following the Indonesian trial run of the updated features. This summer, the BBM Protected servicer will be rolled out to give companies the ability to pay for additional encryption security.
Moreover, BlackBerry has also announced that it will be permitting pre-approved commercial placements on the featured channels tab of the app, to a limited degree, in addition to sponsored posts and other opportunities for marketers and advertisers through the ZBBM channels. Targeted users will be provided with the option to decline.