Thursday, 26 January 2012
Rioting, Drug Dealers and BBM
Blackberry market share in the US, once impenetrable over 60%, is now down to 9%, while worldwide 3%. While many people have made the switch to Android or Apple there are still a select group of users who remain loyal to their BlackBerry. RIM has been criticized by lack of innovation and maybe not really knowing their customer. So who are RIM's remaining customers?
According to OfferMobi despite the assumption that BlackBerry users are primarily 'older corporate guys in suits' BlackBerry devices had the most active female mobile dating community of all devices, totaling 28 percent of all users. So if you're looking to hook up you know where all the females are. It seems like women are more comfortable giving out their PIN than their phone number. Sending a BBM message is a lot less intrusive for most. I know some Mom's in my neighborhood that use it to organize playdates.
BlackBerry's original key market was business users, for whom security is crucial as they transmit confidential information. No wonder it is also the communication method of choice for Mexican Drug Cartels. Making it easier for them to launder their money, bribe local and state officials, keep in touch with drug smugglers from different organizations, and collaborators from different levels of the government.
BlackBerry Messenger also played a key role in many of England's riots this past summer. While the government debated whether to shut down Twitter, or prosecute Facebook users, it was BBM that was actually playing a substantive role in the riots, according to those who took part. One real advantage of the BBM network for rioters – and also for Arab spring activists in the Middle East – is the network's security.
Unlike Twitter, where messages are usually public, and Facebook – whose privacy settings are not used properly by many users and which for technical reasons is easier for authorities to access at a later date – BBMs are private to recipients and encrypted during transmission, a fact of which many rioters were aware.
BlackBerry messenger has certainly crossed many boundaries and proved itself to have an infinite amount of uses. Imagine the possibilities for playdates, riots and drug deals if BBM went cross platform?