BlackBerry has announced today the availability of BBM Channels (still in Beta) for BlackBerry users on BlackBerry OS 5 and above and BlackBerry 10, through BlackBerry World. BBM Channels are a forum for active, real conversations between people, brands and communities.
BlackBerry users can simply update to the newest version of BBM to have access to the BBM Channels beta when it becomes available later today. BlackBerry has also announced that BBM Channels for iPhone and Android devices will be launched in the coming months, but they have not specified the time-frame.
According to BlackBerry, BBM Channels provide users control over their content by allowing users to join or opt out of channels at their discretion and gives channel owners the ability to deliver content their communities are looking for. Channel owners can post messages, share pictures, spark discussions, post animated GIFs and chat directly with subscribers. Integrated live chat allows channel owners to offer “scheduled chat hours” where BBM users can directly engage with their favorite channels one on one.
BlackBerry has mentioned further in its statement that “ During the limited beta for BBM Channels that began on May of 2013, we have seen people creating channels based on their passions and building communities with each other. This broader beta will give BlackBerry users the chance to try out a growing number of channels and build their communities, either through their own channel or through new contacts made through shared interests on other channels.
This beta period is also a great time for notable brands to test content and engage with users. For instance, Toronto Maple Leafs fans can go behind the scenes via the Leafs’ BBM channel to get up close and personal with the team and engage in genuine conversations around their shared passion for Leafs hockey. In return, the Maple Leafs are seeing strong user engagement on BBM Channels”.