To make BlackBerry Messenger more competitive which has been facing stiff competition from rival instant messengers likes WhatsApp and WeChat, BlackBerry has decided to arm the Android and iOS versions of BBM with many new features including voice calls and channels support. While revealing this to The Mobile Indian, a BlackBerry spokesperson also said that the features will be made available in coming few weeks and will be rolled out globally.
BBM Voice Calls feature will allows users to make voice calls to other BBM contacts for free over WiFi and cellular networks. If a voice call is made over the mobile data network, then data charges will be levied.
BBM Channels allow communicating with a large community – basically a subscription based large open group wherein one can join to share, read and converse with like minded people. Several companies have planned their dedicated channels on the BBM platform to push updates and reach out to larger masses.
Till now, the voice calling and channels feature in the BBM are available only for the BlackBerry 10 OS based devices. Last month BlackBerry released a new BBM Beta app for Android and iOS to test these features.
Apart from the above two features, BBM app for Android and iOS will also get Voice Notes (messages) feature that allow users to quickly record and send audio to their BBM friends. Using this feature, users can also share their location with their contacts and also have the time limit control on when to make the location unavailable. Besides, BlackBerry will also add several new emoticons to the BBM library.
Most of these features such as coice calls and channels are already available in other instant messengers such as Line and WeChat. The voice note feature is already available in the WhatsApp, Viber, Line and WeChat.