As I watched my brother co-ordinate an outing with some friends a few months ago it dawned on me how important a native messenger app really is. I ask him why he went from his N92 over to a Blackberry and he tells me simple, “Because all my friends and co-workers have it.” As that trend changed and more and more people are on iPhone and Android devices, multiplatform messenger devices sprung up, but none had the success and outreach as BBM. Simple things such as knowing that the other party has read your message kept a Blackberry in the hands of many people in the corporate and cultural world. In fact I know a few people who have a Blackberry and an iPhone and all they use their Blackberry for is BBM.
So how important does something like iMessage become to Apple? Many are pointing to it as the Blackberry killer. If people in your circle have already flocked to Apple and those left on your BBM list also begin to leave, why would you stay behind? I have owned a Blackberry as recently as 6 months ago, to my dismay I was still unable to properly surf the web or even watch a YouTube video regularly (and yes this was due to the Blackberry). I admit I liked the idea behind BBM and had added plenty of friends and was getting used to the BBM culture but my need for mobile distraction away from home was paramount over ‘instant messaging’. Now Apple is giving me that missing link and I have to wonder, how long before we start talking about BBM as a fad from yesterday? Sadly, and I say this as a proud Canadian who believes in supporting Canadian Businesses, I think it will be sooner rather then later.