BlackBerry Fumbles Messenger Launch, Misses Out On Millions Of Downloads
“Our teams continue to work around the clock” promises BlackBerry in a company blog post aimed at addressing what has become another troublesome launch. The release of BlackBerry Messenger this weekend, for Android on Saturday and iPhone on Sunday, should have been a bright relief amidst the fallout of Friday’s dismal second quarter earnings report, but both versions of the long-awaited app had to be pulled in order to respond to last-minute issues.
“As soon as we are able”, continues the post as the teams tries to workout a new release date. BlackBerry explains that a leaked copy of the Android version caused disruptions to their service as more than a million users tried to log on before the company was ready Saturday morning. By Sunday the issues continued enough that the iPhone version had to be removed from the iTunes Store as well.
If BlackBerry can successfully launch the mobile messaging service it would be a valuable asset in their current search to find a buyer for the company. Having given up plans to continue selling consumer smartphones, it’s expected that any interested buyers would likely divide the company up and only take parts instead of the whole. A successful cross-platform messaging service would definitely be one of those parts.
There have been leaked copies of BBM for Android going around for weeks now and before that the Google Play Store was plagued with a number of counterfeit versions, fake shells hiding scams and malware inside. As troublesome as that certainly is, it confirms that there’s great interest. Unlike the latest BlackBerry phones, which having been sitting on store shelves unsold, as a free app BBM is guaranteed to be downloaded by millions.
Whether that will be out of curiosity for a company that is declared doomed in the headlines or out of genuine use will be the difference to watch for. BlackBerry Messenger has no equal in the hearts of many, but it arrives on the iPhone and Android devices at a time when younger companies like Vine, SnapChat, and WeChat are pioneering messaging services built around photos, videos, and disposable or temporary communication.
“The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible” posts the BlackBerry team optimistically. It’s a relief to see, but let’s hope it’s not too late.