BBM: A Conspiracy Theory

So BlackBerry stated they would be launching BBM on Android and iOS this past weekend, the official announcement was made months ago. As the hype was built, here in the Asia Pacific region specifically, BBM was the topic of discussion for the first time in a long time, reminiscing back to its former glory.

So they began the roll out slowly, confusingly however they started rolling it for iOS first, whereas they had announced that it would be coming for Android first. A couple of days before the rollout, the apk was leaked. Many people installed it but couldn’t get set up and connected, which changed this past weekend. Before it even launched on the Play Store, the apk was installed and activated on numerous devices, the number floating around is 1.1 million however it is not clear whether that was iOS and Android or just android. As time went on and people were clamoring away, posting their new PIN’s on any and every form of social media, BlackBerry dropped a bomb. They said they would be halting the roll out for the foreseeable future and would also be deactivating the accounts of those who signed up through the leaked apk.

Now here’s where my conspiracy theory comes into play. Take BlackBerry, a company that’s failing, dying. Soon enough they won’t even exist in the consumer world. Their former fame and glory now a shadow in the distance, fading away. Sunk-ed so low that they’re offering their only selling point to their competitors, for free. The picture that comes to your mind is of a BlackBerry, one that has not been picked and left to dry, withering on the vine, frail and wishing for death. But here’s where the twist comes in, the metaphorical rebirth. What if it was BlackBerry themselves who leaked the apk? It would make more sense would it not? A one last hurrah! Think about it, people were already forgetting about blackberry and preparing to throw their old blackberries away the minute they migrated over to BBM on their other, more loved platforms. So the minute BBM was on the Play Store and App Store all over the world that would be the last nail in the ill fated companies coffin. So they leaked the apk, gave people a small taste of what they wanted and got the world hungry and in a split second, took it away from them. Its a classic mind game and a good one at that. It’s been 3 days and my timeline is still cluttered with people asking what happened about bbm, how do you get bbm, etc. That’s the most anyone’s spoken about the company in a while. Now, people want it, they want it bad. Giving BlackBerry back a little control of the market they once dominated.

Now with this in no way am I saying “blackberry is back”, they’re still going to die soon and there’s no stopping that. This has merely prolonged the consumers acknowledgment of their existence. It is unclear what can become of this now, whether that was it and they just did it to do it and go out with a very minute bang, more of a pop! you could say. Or, did they do it so they could test the market and see how many people were actually interested in BBM, so that they could probably spin it off into a separate entity or even monetize it. What they do with it is up to them, all we can do is sit back and watch.

Why I think Facebook messenger has the potential to be a whatsapp killer.

If you haven’t heard, facebook recently launched a new feature within their messenger app for android that allows users to communicate with others by using just their mobile numbers, without the need of a facebook account, similar to other services such as whatsapp and viber. There are many other services similar to this that have tried to “kill” whatsapp but none of them have really succeeded. However, I believe there’s a couple of things that facebook has that can prove to be extremely useful.

1. Wide User Base

Let’s be honest? Who doesn’t have facebook? granted I only have 30% of my real life friends on my facebook friends list, but that’s because I’m very selective of the people I accept requests from. But think about it, with the amount of people already using facebook, you wouldn’t have to keep forcing people to download whatsapp and stuff, they would already have am account, thus making it hassle free. And not to mention it’ll make your contacts look more organized with their facebook display pictures and contact info, or maybe that’s just for those with digital OCD such as myself.

2. Desktop Chat

don’t you just hate it when you’re in a conversation with someone and your battery dies? how about if you need to message someone and your phone is not with you? With whatsapp there wasn’t anything you could do about it, but with facebook messenger you can continue that conversation from your desktop, tablet or anything else, since basically every device is a facebook device now days, even some shitty feature phones!

Well we’ve gone through the good, now on to the bad. It isn’t a secret that people aren’t really big fans of anything that has the name “facebook” in them now days, and that’s what I believe will cause less people to adapt the service. They could go ahead and just drop the facebook, making it just messenger, it’s a relatively small change but a psychological one at that. There are many other things they could do to get people onboard, I personally have been one to criticize facebook and what they do, but there’s something about this app that seems to be promising, guess we’ll just have to wait and watch.