The popularity of BBM service has declined
BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, used to be popular among smartphone users. However, in the past few years, the BBM service has suffered in part due to the decline in BlackBerry’s (BBRY) smartphone sales and in part due to the company’s reluctance to open its service to other smartphone operating system platforms such as Google’s (GOOGL) Android and Apple’s (AAPL) iOS. Although BlackBerry has changed its strategy now and opened its BBM service to other platforms, it still needs to do more to revive the service. Let’s see what plans BlackBerry has to revive BBM.
BlackBerry expects its BBM service to become more popular by the end of this year
As the chart above shows, BBM currently has about 85 million monthly active users, which was at the same level as the last quarter. However, BlackBerry expects that it will be able to increase its monthly active users to 100 million by the end of calendar year 2014. The main reason why management expects BBM’s popularity to increase in the next six months is that BBM is scheduled for release on Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone in July.
BlackBerry plans to monetize its BBM Money and eBBM products
BlackBerry has introduced a new mobile payment system called BBM Money. The company recently announced its agreement with EnStream, which is a joint venture of Bell, Rogers (RCI), and Telus (TU)—some of the biggest telecom providers in Canada. Royal Bank of Canada (RY), TD Bank Group, and CIBC are some of the financial institutions of Canada that will support this venture for mobile payments.
The company is targeting revenues of $100 million from its BBM service by the end of fiscal year 2016. BlackBerry expects revenue contribution not only the mobile payments initiative but also from the eBBM suite that it launched earlier this year. eBBM is an enterprise product that will provide a secure messaging environment.