By: Michal Lev-Ram, | April 10, 2014 (Featured in Fortune Magazine)
Remember BlackBerry Messenger, a.k.a. BBM, the mobile chat service launched by the once-reigning smartphone maker in 2005? Much like the company’s devices, BBM has since been displaced by more popular consumer products. Consider: WhatsApp, the five-year-old messaging service acquired by Facebook for a whopping $19 billion in February, has amassed more than 465 million users. Nine-year-old BBM has just 85 million.
But BlackBerry isn’t going down without a fight. In fact, the battered Canadian company — which lost $5.9 billion last year — believes that BBM can help it claw its way back to profitability. At the same time, enterprise-focused mobile-messaging apps are flooding the market, undoubtedly aftershocks from WhatsApp’s staggering payday and sudden, heightened interest among investors.