Blackberry Messaging To Become Available To Non-Blackberry Users

From this weekend, users will no longer need to own a Blackberry device to access its BBM messaging service.

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Blackberry has confirmed BBM will be available as a free download for Apple and Android devices but not for Windows phones.

The move comes as the Wall Street Journal reports that Blackberry will lay off 40% of its staff before 2014.

Widening the appeal of BBM could be a clever way for the company to reinvent itself, said experts.

“Blackberry is having a tough time, sales are down, it is losing market to Windows phones and it needs to do something to stop the rot. This is as good a move as any,” said Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group Europe.

“Offering it across other platforms broadens the appeal of BBM,” he added.

The messanging will be available for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean while iPhones running iOS 6 or iOS 7 can also download it.

“With more than a billion Android, iOS and Blackberry smartphones in the market, and no dominant mobile messaging platform this is absolutely the right time to bring BBM to Android and iPhone customers,” Andrew Bocking, vice-president for BBM, was quoted as saying.

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