Friday, 3 February 2012

BBM or iMessage, which team are you on?

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Every day I hear someone complain about their Blackberry or RIM in general. Be it the random white screen of death that just comes out of nowhere or issues with service going down or cheesy cartoon characters, it's the same old story. As we emerge from the holiday hangover many a customer has received a shiny new smartphone under the tree. Last I checked iPhones account for 25 percent of all mobile browsing and RIM's Blackberry trailed with 3.5 percent down from 20 percent market share in the summer. Maybe it’s even lower now. Maybe the highly anticipated BB10 will change the game?

There are definitely a good number of people who have made the switch to RIMs other competitors. But despite the fast decline in users as far as the stats goes, in real life I still see people with BlackBerrys all around me. Maybe because I live in Canada (RIM’s homebase) The 3.5% is definitely not representative of my network. As far as I'm concerned everyone is still on a Blackberry and l feel left out if I'm not part of their BBM group.

And for those who were seduced into purchasing the iPhone 4s, I ask, "So, what do you think of iMessage?" to which I often hear "It's OK, but it's no BBM.. "

Is Blackberry Messenger the reason that 3.5% is still holding on?
Here are the reasons we still like BBM:

1.     You have to be on iOS5 in order to use iMessage So although you are on team iPhone that doesn't mean that you can use iMessage. I do have some friends who are on iMessage but we really don't interact with eachother as often as my friends who are on BBM. It's just not that engaging.
2.     Theres no invitations in iMessage If the contact in your list has an iPhone 4s then you automatically have the option to iMessage each other. Why is this con? You don't know who is on iMessage. BBM for me is about my close friends circle- if anyone can message me, why would I care to check the messages? Ever hear of inbox overload, it applies to messaging as well
3.     BBM Groups iMessage only supports a very basic Multi-Chat experience. On BBM you can create groups, have various group chats and broadcast messages to a particular group as well. You can also share photos, lists, calendar entries and media files with your BBM group. Again iPhone may have other apps that support group message - it lacks in giving that single integrated experience
4.     Personalized Profiles BBM has a social networking aspect as well you can set status and personal message - similar to a Twitter or Facebook newsfeed. You can let your friends know what song you are listening to right now. And who can forgot - set a personal display picture, even an animated one ;)
5.     Its Addictive Something about seeing the little received ‘R’ pop up makes people feel more connected. Its gives your messages substance. It makes you feel somehow closer to the person you are communicating with. By being always on, you never have to worry about signing in or waiting for others to sign in.

So although RIM stock continues to plummet as they continue to recover from the service outage fiasco, Playbook sales and daily backlash in the media there are still some diehard Blackberry fans out there mainly because they are still hooked on BBM. I had one friend who cursed her Blackberry up and down on a daily basis, until she finally got an iPhone only to switch back to a Blackberry because she needed her BBM back.

There may be hope for RIM after all.

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