For now, the app is in a filled-up closed beta, though customers can register to join the waiting list. Blackberry says it will open the app to everyone in “the coming weeks.”
It appears that Blackberry is embracing the modern-style design of Windows devices. Users will be able to swipe through each section of the app, and can pin any contact directly to the Start screen for faster access.
The BBM app will have three main sections. Contacts will let users find friends, create groups, and start multi-person chats. The Chats section will list all ongoing conversations in reverse-chronological order, and the Feeds section includes recent contact activity such as status changes, broadcast messages, and new profile photos.
The initial release will focus on basic functionality, including conversations, broadcast messages, shared calendars, shared lists, and group photo albums. Blackberry says it’ll eventually add other features such as stickers, voice chat, BBM Channels, and location sharing.
BBM was once an exclusive feature for Blackberry phones. The company released iOS and Android versions last fall as its own smartphone market share spiraled downward, and as cross-platform messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Line became popular. Blackberry now sees cross-platform messaging as a potential revenue stream, both through advertising and the sale of stickers.