Sunday, May 11, 2014

BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) - Common Denominator - Can it unify people from all platforms?

Can BBM unify people from all platforms?

Back in the day most of us used Windows Messenger to communicate with people directly in real time. Those were the days when you could find all your friends online in a single application. Then generation of MySpace, Facebook and Twitter arrived and kind of took away live communication and made it more of a display of your activities without talking to anybody directly.

These days a lot of people are on Facebook, but Facebook does not have a reputation as a trusted service with our information. 

Google+ is getting more popular, but you probably don't have a lot of your friends there. When you ask people to join, they are very reluctant because they might not be big users of Gmail and to have Google+ service, you obviously have to have Gmail as your Google account. Some people are big Gmail users but they are not fans of Goolge+.

Twitter is used by a lot of people, but its platform is not to share pictures with your family. You could that, but it has a different purpose. It is much more public than other services.

Yahoo / Hotmail / / Skype are also used a lot.

All these services have their place and they are useful in their own ways. People generally choose and associate themselves with one of these platforms and we all wish that our friends and family are all on the same platform that we choose as the main platform. However, that is not feasible.

What can internet user and smartphone users do? Could BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) have a chance to be the common denominator?

BBM has more secure and private approach to communication. BBM app exists for iPhones, Android, BlackBerry phones and it is very soon going to be released for Windows phones. BBM could be used as a replacement for text messaging for all your friends across the world without extra charge.

If you have all your friends as contacts in your BBM app, then you can communicate with them one on one or have group conversations with them. You don't have to pay attention what country they are in. 

You can organize your contacts in categories.

You can create BBM groups and invite your certain contacts from your list to this group. For example, I have a Family group that I created where all my family contacts can be added. Within this group, I can post pictures and events without directly text messaging family members. When they open their BBM app, they can browse to the Family group and see all the posts. I can also choose to have a group conversation in real time with all group members.

You can see that this is designed by default to be private.

Nobody can search in BBM app looking for people online. The only way to be somebody's contact on BBM is the following two ways:
  • You know them and you exchange BBM PIN in person by scanning each other's bar-code.
  • You email your friend and exchange the BBM PIN and then add contacts by PIN.

In a nutshell, your BBM app becomes the communication tool with people that are part of your lives from personal or business point of view.

BBM for Business:
I think that BBM also has a very good chance of becoming a common communication solution for business. Let's say you have a team of 20 people. Maybe 7-8 of your team members are in different geographic locations. Having company email on phones is one way of communicating with team members, but not every member of your team can have a company phone. However, they definitely have a their own personal smart phones. They all can install BBM application on their company/personal phones and exchange the BBM PINs. In your contact list, you can categorize all your co-workers and now you can easily reach out to your teammates one on one or even via a group chat. Everybody is busy with meetings, and email communication might not be the best solution to reach out to your teammates when it is important because the response on emails is expected within a business day. Calls could be very distracting especially if you are receiving them during a meeting. However, receiving a BBM message is efficient and not as disturbing. For example, I often have a need to reach out to my product managers in Europe. I don't carry a company phone and I can't call long-distance. I can't text message them either for free. However, I could send them a BBM message if I wanted to reach out to them to discuss important matter on short notice.

Can BBM unify people from all platforms? Can it be the common denominator?
I think it has a huge potential. I will continue using it on my iPhone and see how well it does. You need to try it out and determine if it works. We spend a lot of time playing with many apps on our phones and I think that BBM deserves some of our time because it could increase your productivity.

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#BBM #BlackBerry #BlackBerryMessenger #communication #teams #gmail #facebook #skype #googleplus #hotmail #Outlook 

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