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BBM claims 20 million active users on Android and iOS

BlackBerry has announced that the recent launch of its BBM messaging app on Android and iOS has added 20 million active users to the platform in its first week of availability. The news comes days after the company revealed the app had passed 10 million downloads in its first day. The new additions bring BBM's total active accounts to 80 million across BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices, according to today's press release.

That's a significant increase for BlackBerry's messaging network, but it's worth remembering that it's still early days for BBM on Android and iOS, and a short-term spike in users is to be expected. Nevertheless it'll be interesting to see how successful BBM is at holding onto these active accounts in the months ahead.

You'll find more coverage of today's numbers and other BlackBerry happenings over on (opens in new tab).

Source: CrackBerry (opens in new tab)

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Best app on android hands down! For texting. ;-)
  • Really? What does it do that makes it better than any other app? If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • Don't have to give out a phone number/email address mainly. I've uninstalled it since I have no use for it #33b5e5
  • No, you just have to memorize a random alphanumeric PIN instead. That's different, it's not inherently better though. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • PIN is better by far. You can't really get any bad consequences from handing out your PIN to the wrong person than you can with your phone#. Plus, BBM you have to approve them being added on to your list. Whatsapp just adds them when you put their phone # into your address book. Where's the privacy there? When I connected up my phone to my company's exchange, all of a sudden I had HUNDREDS of new Whatsapp contacts from my company that I did not authorize nor want. Plus, Whatsapp doesn't tell you when the message was read. BBM does and it handles groups much better, like a private social network. Also, if you get a new phone number, then whoever got your old phone number now has all your friends on their contact list since it's only phone # based. It's so messed up. Go do a google search and you'll see why BBM is superior to Whatsapp and every other messaging platform out there.
  • I've had the same number since 2005. I'm not a shady teenager who can't keep his bill paid, and I port it because it's important to keep.
  • I've never used Whatsapp (the idea of paying for a messenger is a turnoff), but Whatsapp is only one messenger service. Being better than Whatsapp doesn't make it the best. Also, I've never gotten bad consequences from handing out my email or phone address to someone. Because I'm not an idiot. Even if someone did turn out to be insane, blocking an IM or SMS is pretty easy. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • Indeed. Everyone who screams about BBM being the best for privacy follows up their comment with another one saying "Add me ladiez PIN 1A2CXYZPDQ!" To that I say: "Uhh..."
  • Who pays for WhatsApp? Posted via Android Central App
  • People that want to use it for more than a year, at which point it costs $1 a year.
  • See I don't have a problem paying $1 a year for an app. I do have a problem cluttering my phone with multiple same-purpose apps. I also have a problem running a bunch of messaging apps to get maybe a handful of people each when those same people are all textable. My international contacts are all on Facebook so we just use that.
  • Small correction: > Plus, Whatsapp doesn't tell you when the message was read. It does. Check mark = sent. Double check mark = sent & read. Although I agree that basing a messaging account on phone number -- Whatsapp, Tango, et al. -- with no additional security layer is utterly ridiculous. Moreover, those clients are typically impossible to use on more than one device/platform simultaneously, which runs completely counter to the concept of portability every other modern, cloud-based tech solution is migrating toward.
  • That's incorrect. Straight from whatsapp's FAQ "We are glad you asked. These checkmarks are actually very important since they are indicators that acknowledge the delivery of a message. Here is what they mean:  1 check mark - message successfully delivered to the server. 2 check marks - message successfully delivered to the phone of your chat partner. Note: this does not indicate that the message was read, just that it was delivered." Posted via Android Central App
  • Yup, it's a received receipt, not a read receipt. Read receipts are why I love BBM ;)
  • Yes that's a big deal for people that want to add strangers (or online "friends"), but seriously phone # and email aren't a big deal if you're socializing with people you already know, SMS & Skype are already enough for me. I used to love BBM when I was a BB goer, but no one that I know uses BBM anymore and my once 60+ BBM contacts are now 0. I'm not going through converting people over. Oh and BBM Android is a fat battery drain, wow.
  • Native SMS on a android is complete garbage BBM on android is the best there is! Hehe
  • How is it garbage to be able to message every person with a cellphone, even if they have a featurephone?
  • Or...*gasp*...a basic flip! How shameful and horrific to be able to text my Grandma.
  • Shush, we're not allowed to talk sense. Disagreeing with BBM fanbois is restricted to trolling.
  • How cute! the two best friends that can ever be found on earth!
  • I think, there's a bigger circle jerk, amongst the CrackBerry posters that frequent "BBM for Android" articles, lmao. Posted via Android Central App
  • Very often it takes hours for messages to be delivered. Not my idea of a great communication app. I rated it a 2, and that was kind SwiftKey'd from my Bohemoth Note2
  • Any word on how this compares to the cross-platform number of users of WhatsApp?
  • Whatsapp has 300+million.
    So, it doesn't compare. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • Gotcha. I don't use either, I was just curious. Thanks for clearing that up!
  • I can honestly say I'm not one of those 20 million. I think Hangouts works better, but I guess choices never hurt anything to have. Posted from the awesome new Nexus 7
  • This
  • Myself and a few buddies had been using this but the bugs were too much. Too many undelivered messages, or messages that were received multiple (up to 10) times. Stick with stock app or a comparable cross platform, at least until BBM has all the kinks worked out.
  • You're the first I heard complaining about these issues and I've been searching the Internet for someone who has the same issues I have. I use a Verizon galaxy s3. You? Do you think this is device / carrier specific? Posted via Android Central App
  • I have seen previously reports of S3 battery issues with this app, though not these issues you guys mention. Looks like for whatever reason Galaxy and BBM don't play well together. I haven't had any issues (other than it being rather bare-bones compared to the BB version). I have a RAZR Maxx HD on Verizon, FWIW.
  • I have a verizon S4, buddies have sprint htc one, other has verizon iphone 4s
  • I wanted this to be as awesome as it was when I used it on my BB. Honestly, I think at this point it is just nostalgia for most people which is a shame because I REALLY REALLY wanted it to be mainstream once again. I fear that will never be the case.
  • *Baffled European who never heard about BBM until recently* What's going on here?
  • BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was a messaging app/protocol that until this point was exclusive to BB devices. It allowed text/media messaging over RIMs servers between BB devices. About a week ago, they have made it inclusive, and made the app available to Android and iOS devices, making it cross-platform to compete with WhatsApp/Kik/Google Hangouts.
  • BBM was iMessage before there was an i to message.
  • iCame, iSaw, iConquered
  • This app is awesome. Goodbye what's app all your crashing ways. Posted via Android Central App
  • Whatsapp never crashed on any of my devices.
  • I have used WhatsApp for years on android and ios and never once it crash on me or fail to deliver any messages and I'm a pretty heavy user Posted via Android Central App
  • "In other news, BBM also states they have found the missing link between birds and pigs and are set to unleash a new mode of transport for the world by the end of next year."
  • I'm not one of those 20 mil and I still don't know anyone that using or wants to use BBM. From my Note 2 to you
  • Ditto. I messed with it a hit, but it doesn't do anything that Hangouts doesn't already do, and there are a LOT of things Hangouts does that this doesn't. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • I don't get hangouts.. it has voice and video sure, but in terms of messaging there isn't even read receipts.. or delivery receipts! why doesn't it say if it got delivered? basic SMS tells me if a message was delivered if you enable the option in the settings. I need to know it got there! that's basic at this point no?
  • Hangouts actually does have read receipts, just done rather poorly. It will show a small display photo under the last message your recipient has read. It's obviously not as good as the D/R system that BBM has, but it kinda does its job. I still don't like how Hangouts does it, but it's there.
  • I would argue that the way Hangouts does it is far better, Google just never explains it in any of their documentation. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • Agreed. It's very easy to see who's caught up in group chat and who hasn't been reading.
  • Sadly most apps are that way. Developers tend to assume everyone knows how their app works just because they do, and they think their app will be dead easy to figure out because they believe it has the perfect, intuitive, common sense UI.
  • *sigh*
    It does Delivered and Read receipts.
    When you hit send, you'll get little dots at the bottom of the message that say sending or something like that. When it is Delivered that changes to the time it was delivered.
    For Read receipts, that little picture of the person you're communicating with (Google calls it a watermark), that movies down as users read your message. If you look at a series of messages, the watermark will sit below the message that was last read. Then it moves down when more are read.
    Google doesn't explain this well in any of the documentation because, unfortunately, they assume their users will figure it out intuitively. Many do, but not all obviously. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • For someone who is never going to use BBM and is far more satisfied with the features of Hangouts, you're sure all over this.
  • For someone who doesn't own an Android device, you sure spend a lot of time here.
    What's your point? The guy asked a question, I answered it.
  • Assumptions man, assumptions. I do own an Android phone, an HTC dream, that's how I know Android is a buggy laggy POS(IMO) Nice try though
  • Not an assumption, your profile says you own a Z10 and a Playbook. No mention of an HTC device.
  • Yeah, sorry about that. I could only list 2 devices, so I chose the better of the 4. Z10
    HTC Dream
    iPhone 3G The last ones helped me early on form my opinions on Android and iOS. The Z10 with BlackBerry 10 is far superior IMO
  • You're judging Android and iOS off of 5 and 3 year old devices respectively? Against a device from earlier this year? Don't take this the wrong way, but you're a moron. And by wrong way, I mean that you shouldn't think that I mean anything other than that you are clearly a moron.
  • Wait. Is that sarcasm? Or are you really using a 1st gen, 2008 device with a slide-out keyboard as your yardstick for modern Android performance? "This Windows for Workgroups 386SX is buggy and slow even with the Turbo button pressed. That's how I know Windows 8 is a buggy laggy POS."
  • I think he's actually serious. And a moron.
  • Run out of arguments?
  • Wait so let me get this straight, It's ok to judge BB10 and the BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones on the Storm from 2008, and even pre BB6 Phones while never actually holding a BB10 phone, But it's not OK to judge Android and iOS in the same way? Sorry but you can't have it both ways, pick one.
  • Who is talking about old BB devices? Or BB devices at all? We're discussing BBM, which is a specific app. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • It seems, when CrackBerry posters are here, we're not allowed to prefer our own platform or apps. Heaven forbid, I go to CrackBerry, extolling the benefits of the Android ecosystem. They complain about us being fanboys; yet, they don't even "police" their own articles or forums. If you don't agree with them, you're automatically labeled a troll trying to bash their platform. Seriously, can't we all just respect each other's choices and value diversity? Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't remember anyone bringing up older BlackBerry devices, as part of this discussion. No need to play the victim, here. Android is an "entirety different" operating system, just like BB10 is. Literally, both are completely different than their earlier iterations. So, no, it's not fair, to judge a BB10 device, based on earlier BlackBerry handsets. But, it's also not fair to do the same, regarding Android. Sadly, if I go to the CrackBerry articles or forums, I see countless fanboys spewing hate about everything that isn't BlackBerry. I don't see you correcting them. Yet, you feel self-righteous enough to come to Android Central and correct us. I'm just calling it like I see it. Feel free to reply by calling me a troll. Posted via Android Central App
  • I wouldn't respond to a logical retort by calling you a troll. I was only using the Dream/BB10 example to point out a fallacy in your friends' argument.
  • That's fair, brother. Posted via Android Central App
  • +10000 Posted via Android Central App
  • actually it doesn't do delivered receipts. when I put my phone in airplane mode and my bro sends me a msg, the three dots show up as well as "Now" on his conversation. meanwhile I've received nothing. airplane mode off and then I receive it obviously, but no change on his screen. thus that time stamp is merely when it was sent to the server from your phone, not when it was delivered to the recipient. I wanna like hangouts, but that's just too big a fail IMO. Not saying BBM is perfect, it's not, but it is the best in terms of plain msging hands down. Even SMS app on my N4 tells me when someone receives my text and MMS....
  • Hangouts has delivered and read, they're just done funny. Brendilon sorta explained it.
  • Thank you so much Blackberry team! I was waiting for this app! Its really user friendly and runs smooth!
  • I'm a Skype user :-P 100 million users XD Posted via Android Central App
  • And who the fuck cares what you use?
  • umadbro?
  • The people he Skypes with, obviously.
  • I don't get why some people have the need to rub what messaging service they use in other people's face. Who gives a fuck what you use as long as you get your messages across and it works for you. I use BBM over Skype and Whatsapp because that's what all my friends use so I don't care if you use Skype, Hangouts, Whatsapp, or whatever. Just quit fanboying over which u use as if anyone cares. And no I'm not mad, it's just getting old and stupid to fanboy over a damn messaging service.
  • Who gives a fuck who decides to declare what they use? Didn't hurt me any...
  • So, you're allowed to tell us your choice and why, but someone else shouldn't/can't be afforded the same? That is the very definition of hypocrisy, my friend. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm a Skype user :-P 100 million users XD Posted via Android Central App
  • Now I know BBM isn't that big in North America, but I can't help but feel like that 20M number is a crock. Especially after all those faux reviews. It makes me wonder how many of those 20M installed it, tried to send a few messages and either stopped using it or uninstalled.
  • It had been what, 3 days? I had a hunch we'd get a BBM post today. Does it really matter that BBM hit 20 million users? It's nowhere close to the big guns in its market (Whatsapp, Skype, Hangouts, etc.) If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • You don't like BB much do you?
  • BB makes great hardware, their OS leaves a lot to be desired and their management is simply pisspoor.
    BB fanbois are annoying as hell. And the sheer volume of BBM stories here is just ridiculous, why is this news? Are we going to get a story every 10million users? If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • You do realise you are doing exactly what you claim annoys you? As soon as someone call's you out you go on about how you like BB and blah, blah blah. Talk about a pot calling the kettle black... you personify that cliche. Are you so bored that every BBM article you must jump on and start trying to knock it?. I mean every singe one since BBM was released for IOS and Android you've been here trying to dissuade others from using it and telling us stories of why you won't use it, why Hangouts is better, why WhatsApp is better, questioning all the download stats and now you come back to question the active user stats etc etc etc... Dude, how bored are you really? Get a job or at least something else to do. I really pity you. You must be on your computer just pressing refresh all the time on this site waiting to see BBM pop up in the headlines or something. It's quite sad.
  • ^This message is endorsed by The Angry Edmontonian
  • And me. Posted via Android Central App
  • And me, haven't been here long, but every thread I read has some type of annoying hateful fanboy nonsense. Posted via Android Central App
  • And me. Posted via Samsung Gs3 Wishing it Was a N5
  • This hurts coming from a guy whose Android yardstick is the 5 year old HTC Dream.
  • Oh, I am? I didn't realize this was I'll head back to AndroidCentral now. I should have realized where I was with all these users toting Z10's and Playbooks.
  • I'm that bored. Gotta take breaks from retouching ugly people and do SOMETHING. For that matter, how bored do you have to be to read all the comments, notice someone else is that bored, then write your own diatribe about it?
  • "how bored do you have to be to read all the comments, notice someone else is that bored, then write your own diatribe about it?"
    I don't know, but i might be bored enough to try to quantify the amount of boredom necessary to induce that. First, we need a unit of boredom. The snod? I like the sound of snod...
  • I am snodding in agreement.
  • Bam! Posted via Android Central App
  • You realize you are being an annoying hangouts fanboi? Stop bashing on BB and crying whenever there's news about it. You disliking the company doesn't make it less worthy of news or attention. Grow up, my god. Posted via Android Central App
  • Actually, I was bashing AC for posting yet another BBM article.
  • It's ridiculous but easy to troll. So I'm uncertain how I feel about it. It's like being on a treadmill...the exercise is good for you but you're not seeing anything new.
  • Why don't you two go blow each other somewhere else? Posted via Samsung Gs3 Wishing it Was a N5
  • And yet, here you are commenting. All you do is complain about BBM and praise Hangouts. Why take the time of day? Posted via Samsung Gs3 Wishing it Was a N5
  • Why take the time of day to praise BBM and knock Hangouts? At least Hangouts is deserving of praise as a messaging app. BBM is shorter on features than a flip phone. If Samsung made penis implants, would they have TouchWiz? - dchawk81
  • Who is knocking hangouts? This article has absolutely nothing to do with hangouts. I'm sure it's great at what it does, but obviously some people here prefer BBM and yet you're here to bash on their preference. I've seen you in every BBM relates article. Posted via Samsung Gs3 Wishing it Was a N5
  • I found higher then normal battery drain on my Note 2 and HTC One so i removed it from them.
  • Define 'active users'.
  • Define "Active". Since all those who tried it once in the last so many days are probably in that group it's not really surprising.
  • Love BBM, works so much better than Hangouts, can't wait for BBM Voice and Video to come along and completely replace any need for Hangouts, Skype and WhatsApp. Other than a couple people, all my friends have pretty much moved back on to BBM. I guess it's still huge in Canada because my Facebook news feed feels like 2007 when everyone's telling each other to add them on BBM. Even those who said they won't get BBM caved and got it. There are bugs, not going to lie, but Blackberry has been diligently working to fix them and I try to help them by forwarding complaints and filing bug reports with people I know at Blackberry and they do fix them. Hopefully the new versions would be much better. There is a slight battery issue, Blackberry employees are aware of it and will be fixing it hopefully soon.
  • I haven't used it because nobody I know uses it.
  • Uninstalled.....back to hangouts :-) Posted via Android Central App
  • Congratulations Posted via Android Central App
  • This app sucks battery juice like hell even after disabling the persistent notification icon. My note only gets a 2% drain overnight but bbm dropped it to 11%. Now uninstalled, good riddance! Sent from my SM-N900 using the S-Pen
  • 21st century kids standing in a museum, looking at a Egyptian mummy with 1227BC written below.. 1st kid: What does that mean?
    2nd kid: Must be his BBM pin Posted via Android Central App
  • As a BBM user and BBRY lover, I LOL'ed HARD! haha!
  • Not even close to possible. A mummy would have a much lower PIN number.
  • Lots of install by curious folks like me but hardly use it and probably gonna uninstall soon Posted via Android Central App
  • I have it on my phone, but I don't know anyone who uses it. I figured I'd give it a couple of weeks, just to see if anyone I know is interested. Groups is the interesting feature for me. Maybe I'll keep it a while longer. Battery drain was a huge issue with the first release. The update seems to make it better, but I guess I need to uninstall to see how much better my phone would be without it there. I use a Note 2, BTW. Seems to be mostly an issue with Samsung devices. As you can probably tell, I want to like it, but I can't make a judgement just yet, and it certainly isn't the ultimate messaging app, at least not at this point.
  • So many advantages: Being able to create a shopping list and share only among close relatives, or I can schedule calendar events for specific groups (family or coworkers) or I could give my Twitter contacts my PIN without having to reveal anything else.
  • 20 million downloads and I still have no friends on it.... Posted via Android Central App
  • Same here. :( But we don't know where all those users are located. My guess is that many of them are in countries that still have a good deal of BB usage, since those folks there would have more to gain by installing BBM. So, unless you're located in one of those countries, you may not see too many folks on it.
  • Add me to the list of people who tried BBM for Android, realized barely any of my friends were using it, and deleted it. Also, that persistent icon was annoying. Posted via Android Central App
  • Up until 6 months ago when I got my S4, I was a BB user, using BBM all the time. The only person I ever messaged was my wife. It worked great on a BB. However this current version of BBM on the Android was not up to what I expected of it. I didn't like the persistent icon, however you CAN turn it off and it works. What I didn't like about it was first, the amount of screen space left to actually read messages is only a small amount, between the keyboard, the option bar, and the username and picture at the top, there was maybe an inch of screen space on a huge 5 inch screen, to read anything. The second thing I had a hard time with, and this was one of the main reasons for trying BBM, as it is a functionality we missed from using our BB's, was ability to send files. On the BBM for android, it only allowed you send pictures, not any file you want. Then on top of that, it reduces the resolution of your picture you send, and then you can't view it in landscape if you want to, only portrait. Third, I was sent a message, and didn't receive it until an hour and a half after it was sent! This only happened once, but if it happens once, how can you trust it again? Fourth, I let my family know about it, and they decided to try it. My parents tried it on their iPod touch. It wouldn't install. My brother tried it on his Motorola Droid, it crashed. So it is completely unusable for them. If BB could fix these issues, I may give it another try, but we all know how quickly BB works at fixing things. Hurry up and wait, and wait, and wait.... At this point, I am going to stick with Google Talk.
  • Pretty sure you can turn that tool bar off above the keyboard in the options. You can send any file under the 6mb limit, just go to your files, select it, tap share, tap bbm, tap the contact. Send. And just like bbm has always been on blackberry, it sends a low res preview for people worried about data consumption. Tap and hold on the pic, select request high quality version. Posted via Android Central App
  • This claim my friends, is a lie. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'd be really curious to see how many of those 20 million are even using the app TODAY, much less in a week or a month or more from now. My wife and I both installed it. It locked up her phone, and I saw absolutely no utility in it that I don't get from the other apps I have installed. Add to that the fact that I would have to add yet another app to my app stable that can only interact with its users. I currently know 1 person with a BBM, but everybody I know either has Facebook or g+ or both. I don't care how good the experience is; I just can't justify running such a persistent app to interact with a small handful of people that are already on other services.