updated 02:35 pm EST, Tue November 26, 2013
BlackBerry Messenger to be preinstalled on some Android smartphones
BlackBerry is rolling out its social network-style content feeds to BlackBerry OS devices today. The announcement that BBM Channels is leaving beta comes at the same time as reports that the company has struck deals with a number of Android smartphone producers to have the messaging platform preinstalled on devices.
BBM Channels allow individuals and companies to create individual channels, namely a publicly-viewable stream of content. BlackBerry users can follow the channels and send messages, with the channel owner able to submit their own content for viewing by their followers, as well as to respond from incoming messages. A BlackBerry spokesperson advised The Next Web that it will be available on devices from 3pm Eastern onwards, and will be added to the iOS and Android BBM apps in the "coming months."
A total of 12 device manufacturers have agreed to preinstall BBM on their devices, though the list does not include any major Android smartphone heavyweights. Be, Brightstar, Celkon, Evercross, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, Tecno, TiPhone, and Zen will all offer smartphones with BBM onboard, with the list appearing to be made up of regional producers, making it look like BlackBerry is making a play for the smaller, less competitive messaging markets before signing up a larger company such as Samsung to do the same.