updated 07:44 pm EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
Beta test ahead of official launch, some features like Voice to be added later on
Users of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) are going to able to use the service on a new mobile platform. Today, BlackBerry announced that the messaging service has made its way to Windows Phones, starting off with a limited run in beta. The company wants to focus on providing an introduction to the program with its first release.
"We've gotten an incredible number of requests for BBM to come to Windows Phone," said BlackBerry Messenger Head of Product and Brand Marketing Jeff Gadway. "In the coming weeks, we'll be ready to welcome millions of Windows Phone users to the growing BBM community."
BlackBerry Messenger is bringing some of the basic functionality in the first attempt at a Windows Phone version. Contacts provides a centralized location for all BlackBerry Messenger contacts, whether it's a group or an individual. Users can create new contacts or search for friends to chat with, broadcast a message or organize categories. With the Windows Phone version, users can pin a contact to the start menu for quick access.
Chats pulls together all BlackBerry Messenger chat windows into one place. BBM users can add photos, a voice note, send a contact or pass along location information. Group chats, one-on-one conversations and party chats are all possible.
The program also features Feeds, which gives users updated status information and profile photos on their contacts. To chat about the change, BBM users just tap on the name and are pulled into a chat. Personal status updates are also handled in Feeds.
In the future, the team will add more features to BlackBerry Messenger for Windows Phones including Channels, Voice, Glympse location sharing and stickers.
Access to BlackBerry Messenger for Windows Phone is currently limited to beta, with a full release coming in the next few weeks. Windows Phone users that want to take part in the beta, or that can't wait any longer for the messaging platform, can head over to the BlackBerry Beta Zone to register.