Smartphone vendor BlackBerry is planning to offer free voice calls on its instant messenger app through an update. The free calling feature will be available on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry OS 5 upwards smartphones. Around 100 million people worldwide use BBM across OS platforms.
The update, which will be available shortly, will allow users to surf and create BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) channels, share content and geographical location.
The global update of the app will enable BBM to compete with messaging vendors such as Viber, Line and WhatsApp.
Last year, BlackBerry launched BBM voice for BB 10 users.
According to media reports, video call on BBM, that is available on BB 10 devices, will be available for users across platforms in the near future. The company may launch BBM for Windows devices in the future, the only operating system that does not support BBM at present.
BBM Channel is an extended version of the messenger where users can upload content and subscribe to public (free) and private (paid) channels of other users, which may include companies or individuals. Channel owners can post messages, share pictures, start discussions, post animated images and chat directly with subscribers.
The social media platform which was launched in November, a month after BBM was made available across platforms, has over 250,000 channels globally. Its Indian customers are also growing with top enterprises joining the platform.