After introducing popular BBM to Android and iOS users, BlackBerry Limited today said it will partner handset makers from India, like Micromax, Spice and Zen, other nations to pre-install the popular messaging app on their smartphones.
With the BlackBerry Limited BBM app coming pre-installed, users can directly engage with other BBM users without having to download the app or incurring download charges.
"BBM will soon come preinstalled on a variety of Android-based smartphones from leading OEMs across Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East," BlackBerry Ltd said in a statement.
Beginning next month, Android smartphones from Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCOSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone and Zen will include BBM preinstalled, it added.
BBM will continue to be available as a free download from Android app stores, including Google Play.
"It is clear that smartphone customers see BBM as a must have app for active conversations. The uptake we have seen for BBM since the launch on Android and iPhone is amazing," BlackBerry Executive Vice President (BBM) Andrew Bocking said.
BBM is already available pre-loaded on Micromax's Canvas Turbo and will now be preloaded in the entire forthcoming range of Canvas phones.
BlackBerry today also launched its BBM Channels, which will allow brands to engage with people and communities.
The platform will be made available for BlackBerry users on BlackBerry OS 5 and above and BlackBerry 10 through BlackBerry World, a company statement said.
Existing BlackBerry users can update to the latest version of BBM to have access to BBM Channels, it added.
"BBM Channels builds on BBM's strengths of engagement and communications and gives BBM users a rich community-building tool that will allow them to connect with brands, influencers and people of shared interests," the statement said.
Channel owners can post messages, share pictures, start discussions, post animated GIFs and chat directly with subscribers.
BlackBerry had launched a limited beta testing for BBM Channels beginning in May this year.
BBM Channels for iPhone and Android devices will launch in the coming months, the statement said.
BlackBerry is betting big on Channels to rake it additional revenue in the coming months. Brand owners, who will pay for using Channels, will get to connect with users and reach out to newer audiences in return new ones.
The Canadian firm has been facing stiff competition from other smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung as sales have declined over the past few months.
It is now looking at making money through options like the BBM