updated 09:42 am EDT, Tue August 6, 2013
Initial launch on Galaxy devices in Africa, general Android and iOS to come
BlackBerry Messenger will be heading to Android soon, with Samsung devices being the first to receive it. The app will be made available in both Google Play and the Samsung App store in the near future, with Galaxy smartphone users based in Africa initially being able to download it, suggesting that it will reach other regions, other Android devices, and iOS soon.
The announcement received by CrackBerry notes that Galaxy users will "gain access to the BBM social network, including BBM chats, multi-person chats, and BBM groups" of up to 30 users at a time, along with photo sharing and voice notes. While the upcoming addition of the app to Google Play is a sign that it will be going onto Android devices from other manufacturers, it does not hint at when it will appear on iOS. BlackBerry has started to send invites to users on both iOS and Android platforms for beta testing purposes, so a simultaneous release or similar is still possible.
When BlackBerry originally announced the plan to open up BBM to other platforms, it had more than 60 million active users, with more than 51 million people using the service for an average of 90 minutes per day, and 10 billion messages sent each day. The switch to providing a general service of what was once a unique feature to BlackBerry devices is possibly a way for the company to try and reach BlackBerry users that switched to other devices, in an attempt to rectify its underwhelming financial status.