Out of Beta: BlackBerry Launches BBM Channels

Following a very successful launch of BlackBerry Messenger on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, Waterloo’s BlackBerry is today rolling out BBM Channels for current and legacy BlackBerry devices.

Channels, which helps transform BBM from a mere messaging app into more of a social network, is expected to launch on iOS and Android “in the coming months,” according to the smartphone maker. It’s also, with any luck, a new source of revenue for BlackBerry: the company could earn money from Channels similar to how Twitter and Facebook do by enabling brands to pay for exposure.

During its first week, BBM was the top free overall app in 35 countries in Google Play and in 107 countries in the App Store. The BBM community is now in excess of 80 million active users.

“It is great to see so many people downloading BBM, but the true measurement for us is engagement —the connections being made and the conversations in which our BBM community engages. The power of BBM has always been the active, real conversations and interaction that our customers enjoy,” Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of BBM at BlackBerry, said last month.