They are in their early stage of development, but I think that very soon a lot of people will be asking the question, what are BBM Channels?
Blackberry has introduced a new social feature to their Mobile Messaging Service called Channels. They have been available to Blackberry users since May 2013 and have just been introduced cross platform for Android and IOS. BBM comes pre-installed on Blackberry devices and can be downloaded from Google Play for Androids or at the Apple Store for IOS users. Channels are a social media tool best described as a blend of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Kind of like one stop social shopping – a bit of everything in one place and more.
Once you have downloaded BBM on your phone (it’s free), setting up your own channel is easy and can be done on your mobile or computer desktop. Having a BBM channel is like having your own mini blog. You can attach pictures, use up to 400 characters of text and also link to your internet site offering the full version of your blog. A menu bar keeps track of the channels that you have created, ones that you have subscribed to and also a selection of BBM featured Channels. It is a well organized and built in bookmarking system.
Because BBM was designed for mobile from the start, the navigation and user interface are comfortable and reader friendly. When I’m out and about I find myself surfing BBM channels more than the web because of the ease of use and readability.
If you are familiar with BBM you will know that each user has a different PIN # ( kind of like your own URL inside of BBM) and that is how you connect with other users. Logging into BBM channels gives you other options as well. It is like a little internet all on its own. You can see previews and subscribe to new channels or browse by category using the search engine to find random sites. You can then preview, and if you like it, subscribe (all free). This will give you the ability to like, comment and in some cases chat with the Channel owner. A personal touch that you could make available to your own subscribers. Stats such as number of posts, visits and subscribers are tracked by Blackberry and can be seen by you in the home screen of each Channel.
Instant messaging on mobile is hot and growing. Facebook recently purchased WhatsApp for 19 Billion dollars – NOT A TYPO – THEY ACTUALLY VALUED IT AT 19 BILLION DOLLARS, WOW! If that doesn’t give you an indication of how important mobile social marketing is then I don’t know what will. You’ve got to be thinking of mobile strategies in all of your marketing plans now and in the future.
Many celebrities, sports figures and brands have started to embrace BBM Channels as a new way to interact with their fans and customers. They can be found for Time and Rolling Stone Magazines, Coca Cola, UPS, Mercedes Benz and of course Money Builder Online (PIN C0030899F). BBM channels are in the infancy stage but with mobile messaging taking centre stage in the battle of the giants (Google, Facebook and Microsoft etc.) it just makes sense to get in on the ground floor and grow your brand on BBM channels.
A BBM Channel or Channels (you can start as many as you like) is a new weapon that you can add to your social marketing attack. BBM currently has over 80 million users (and growing) and with it just being released cross platform, it would seem like getting in now would be a pretty good move.
The following is an introductory video from Blackberry about Channels:
If you have a BBM Channel that you would like to advertise, please feel free to leave your PIN along with your comment. (No other links are permitted.) Thank You Sincerely, The MBO Team