What’s New From BBM
The newest versions of BBM introduce a ton of great new features that help you to connect and share in new ways. New features include Timed Messages and message retraction available for BlackBerry® 10, iPhone, Android™ and Windows Phone® devices. Custom PIN and No Ads Subscription options have also been added.
The new version of BBM is available as a free upgrade in App Store, Google Play™, Windows Phone Store, Amazon Appstore and BlackBerry® World®.
The newest version of BBM is available for:
- iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS® 7 and above
- Android devices with cellular capability running Android 4.0 and above
- BlackBerry 10 devices running BlackBerry 10 OS v10.2.1 and above
Previous versions of BBM are supported on:
- Android devices with cellular capability running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Note: Android tablets with a screen size above 7” are not supported.
- Windows Phone OS 8.0 and above
- BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 6 OS and BlackBerry 7 OS
Stickers give you a new way to express yourself in your BBM chats. They are big, bold, images that you can add to your chats to help you say what’s on your mind, or just to have a little fun. Unlike emoticons that appear in line with your message text, stickers are separate from your message, more like an attachment.
Stickers are found in the menu where you find all your emoticons (little smiley face next to where you type your message). When you select a sticker from the sticker picker it is added immediately to your chat so choose wisely!
When you receive a sticker in a chat, you can click on it to zoom in to it and download that sticker pack so you can start using those stickers in your chats as well.
Stickers are purchased from the new BBM Shop, right inside BBM. You can access the BBM Shop through the main menu (found in the bottom left hand corner of the app) for BlackBerry 10, iPhone and Android devices. For Windows Phone, you can access the BBM Shop by swiping right from the main application screen.
When you find a sticker pack you want to buy, it will be charged to the app store connected to your phone (App Store for iPhone, Google Play for Android, BlackBerry World for BlackBerry or Windows Phone Store for Windows Phone).
BBM Voice allows you to place voice calls to BBM contacts using your Wi-Fi or data connection.
To call someone with BBM Voice they must first be a BBM contact. Start a BBM chat as normal and then look for the BBM Voice icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. If it appears in green then your contact is available for a BBM Voice call. To call them, touch on the green BBM Voice icon. Your call will then be connected. To receive a BBM Voice call, answer it just as you would a voice call.
BBM Voice uses your cellular data or Wi-Fi connection. Please consult your wireless carrier.
Location sharing is a new feature available in the latest version of BBM. Location sharing, powered by Glympse, lets you share your location with one or several BBM contacts live on a dynamic map for a specified period of time. When you share your location the person (or people) you’re chatting with can follow your location for the designated period of time set by you. When the timer runs out, your location is private again.
When you’re in a BBM chat with a single contact or a multi-person chat, you share your location just as simply as you would a photo. Selecting the ‘Glympse’ icon from the sharing menu will allow you to set the timer (note, you may be required to allow BBM to access your location the first time). After setting the timer, press send to share your location. After you’ve started to share your location you can always update the expiry time by touching on the Glympse logo in your chat.
You can share your location for up to 4 hours.
No, your location cannot be saved
To add an attachment like a photo, voice note, or file, touch on the icon that appears next to the text entry bar in a chat. On Android, iPhone and BlackBerry 10 this will appear as a paper clip. On Windows Phone, tap the paperclip icon in the action bar.
With Dropbox built in to BBM, you can send a file from your personal cloud directly to a BBM contact. On the receiving end, save the file directly to your smartphone or add it to your Dropbox account.
No, when someone sends you a file from their Dropbox account over BBM you receive a link to access that file through your web browser. From there you can download the file to your smartphone or add it to your Dropbox account if you have one
BBM is making it easy to find out which of your contacts are BBM users. With the new ‘Find Friends’ feature you can see which of the contacts in your smartphone’s address book are on BBM and quickly send them a BBM PIN invite to add them to your contact list. The ‘Find Friends’ feature also allows you to invite other contacts not already using BBM to download the app. ‘Find Friends’ is located in the ‘Invites’ tab located in the menu found in the bottom left hand corner of the app.
‘Find Friends’ works by matching the email addresses associated with contacts in your smartphone’s address book with those of registered BBM users. When matches are found their BBM display name will be shown in the ‘Find Friends’ screen along with the photo that you have for that contact in your smartphone address book. To use the ‘Find Friends’ feature you may be required to accept a prompt that asks you to allow BBM to access your address book.
BBM includes different emoticons that you can use in your chats and status updates. The latest version of BBM for BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone has just introduced 100 new emoticons to choose from. You can also type a 2-digit country code in asterisks to add a flag icon to your message, such as typing *CA* to add a Canadian flag.
BBM can also display certain emojis, which are special emoticons created for Japanese electronic messages and webpages. Your contacts might not be able to see emojis that you copy and paste from a website into BBM.
Absolutely! And we’d love to hear your ideas. In fact, 25 of the 100 new emoticons that were added in the last version of BBM came from ideas submitted by our customers. If you have an idea, find us on twitter @BBM or on Facebook at Facebook.com/BBM
Subscriptions are additional purchasable features on BBM.
Subscriptions are based on a recurring fee and provide new ways to get the most out of BBM.
Currently there are three Subscriptions:
- Custom PIN
- No Ads
- Timed and Retracted Messages
A Subscription is not required to use BBM. However purchasing a Subscription gives you access to additional BBM features.
It’s easy. Simply open BBM, tap on the BBM Shop, and choose the Subscription that’s best for you.
Yes. Your Subscription is based on your BlackBerry ID (BBID). This means that if you switch your BBM account to a different device, your Subscription moves with you.
When it’s time to renew your Subscription, make sure you renew it using the store for the device on which you’re currently using BBM. Then cancel any existing auto-renewing Subscription purchased previously from another store. For example, if you purchased a Subscription on Google Play ™ Store and now you have an iPhone®, you will still continue to be charged by Google Play ™ Store unless you cancel the Subscription.
See “How do I manage my Subscriptions?” below for more information.
BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier do not support Subscription features. These devices cannot invite BBM contacts using a Custom PIN Subscription.
- iOS: Within the App Store, you can see the time remaining before your Subscription period ends. The App store will also allow you to renew your Subscription one payment period in advance, or prompt you when it’s time to renew. Note: you can only renew a Subscription one payment period in advance.
- BlackBerry 10: Subscriptions renew automatically.
- Android™: Subscriptions renew automatically
If your carrier supports Subscriptions you can purchase through carrier billing. With Carrier billing, Subscriptions renew automatically. An SMS from a BBM partner will notify you before the end of your current renewal period.
When your Subscription expires, so do the benefits attached to it. For example, if you choose not to renew your Custom PIN Subscription, other BBM users will no longer be able to use your Custom PIN to add you to BBM. In addition, that PIN will become available for other users to select as their Custom PIN.
To purchase another Subscription on a shared Google Play account you will need to make a separate Google Play account.
Here’s how to do it:
- Create your new account.
- From your Android device, open the Google Play store and tap on the top left hand corner of the screen (you should see a symbol of three horizontal lines).
- Click the email account that is located on the left side of the screen.
- Select the Gmail® account with which you want the Subscription to be associated.
- When I hit Subscribe to a Subscription in Google Play it says one price, but when I go to purchase the Subscription it tells me a different price. Why?
When using a credit card or debit card to make purchases on the Google Play store, Google charges an additional fee for automatic payments. Learn more about pricing
If you no longer wish to receive Subscription features, you can elect not to renew them. If you choose not to renew, your Subscription will expire at the end of the current payment period. Keep in mind Subscription sales are non- refundable. Electing not to renew a Subscription will not entitle you to a retroactive or pro-rated refund of Subscription payments that were made prior to the expiration of the current Subscription period.
- iOS: You will receive a reminder every month to renew your Subscription. If you choose not to renew, your Subscription will be cancelled at the end of the payment period.
- Android: Use Google Wallet™ payment service to manage your Subscriptions
- Log in to Google Wallet
- BlackBerry 10: Go to BlackBerry® World® from your smartphone, tap My World and manage your Subscriptions.
- Carrier billing purchases: For Subscriptions purchased through carrier billing you will receive an SMS explaining how to cancel a Subscription.
- Open BBM and tap on the BBM Shop
- Tap the Custom PIN Subscription
- Tap Subscribe
- Choose your Custom PIN
- Tap Okay
To invite a contact to BBM with a Custom PIN all users need to be running the latest version of BBM in order for the invitation to properly send.
Note: BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry 7 OS or earlier do not support Subscription features and cannot invite BBM contacts using a Custom PIN.
The Custom PIN you wish to create may already be taken by another person, or it may not follow the Custom PIN guidelines:
- Must be 6 to 8 characters
- Must not include any symbols or special characters – only numbers, letters, underscores and dashes may be used
- Must include one underscore, dash, or a letter between G to Z
- Must not start with 2AA
At this time Custom PIN Subscriptions are not compatible with BlackBerry 7 OS or earlier.
The No Ads Subscription provides an advertisement-free BBM experience.
- I subscribed to The No Ads Subscription but I still receive BlackBerry service and marketing messages. Why?
The Timed Message Feature allows you to set how long a message or a picture can be viewed by the person you are chatting with. When the time is up the message disappears from the recipient’s BBM chat feed and the recipient can no longer see the message.
With the Retract Message feature you can remove a message from the recipient’s BBM chat feed before or after they read it.
Sending a timed message or picture is easy. First, tap on the message icon with a stopwatch located beside the area where you can type your message. Set how long you want the message to be viewed for. Now type your message or attach a picture. That’s it!
To retract a message simply tap and hold the message you wish to retract. A window will then appear.
Tap the retract button. Your Message will now be retracted.
You can send 3 Timed Messages or pictures, and retract 3 messages without a Subscription. After that, the ability to send unlimited Timed Messages and pictures and retract unlimited sent messages requires the Timed and Retracted Messages Subscription.
BBM Channels lets users chat with other BBM users about topics that interest them. You can join channels on a range of topics from products, hobbies and sports to entertainment, fashion, cars and more. Channels can be created by brands, businesses and BBM users alike and are a great way to communicate directly and immediately with people who share common interests in the broader BBM community. By posting to their channel, channel owners immediately reach their subscribers with a message that can spark discussions.
Creating a new BBM Channel is easy. To begin, access BBM Channels from the main menu found in the bottom left hand corner of BBM. From there, touch on the three dots in the bottom right hand corner of the BBM Channels screen and select ‘Create Channel’. You will be required to fill in a few details like an avatar photo for your channel, a channel name and a short description. Finally, click ‘Save’ and you’re done. Your very own BBM Channel is now live.
You can also create channels from your computer through the BBM Channel Management Console.
Any BBM channel with a verified badge next to the channel name is verified. BlackBerry verifies channels to help users find authentic, high-quality communities, personalities and brands they can trust.
There are a couple of ways to find great BBM Channels to subscribe to. The first way is through the featured channels page. On the featured channels page you’ll find a selection of great channels showcasing different kinds of content. Be sure to scroll down to view some sample posts from these channels to get a better feel for what people are talking about there.
If you have a particular channel, topic or interest in mind, you can always search for Channels by tapping the magnifying glass in the top right hand corner of the BBM Channels screen
When you find a great channel you may want to share it with a friend. It’s easy to invite a BBM contact to join a BBM Channel. Open the channel you’d like to invite a friend to by choosing it from the ‘Subscribed Channels’ tab. Touch on the 3 dots in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and select ‘Invite’. Now you can choose to display the PIN QR code for that channel, or, choose a BBM contact to share it with.
Yes, if you feel that a channel post or a comment made by another user is inappropriate we encourage you to report it. Report a channel post or a channel comment by touching and holding on that piece of content and selecting the ‘exclamation mark’ from the menu. Comments that are flagged as inappropriate will be brought to the attention of the channel owner for review. Channel posts that are reported as inappropriate will be reviewed by BBM.
Stickers come from two places. First, many of the stickers in the BBM Shop are fully original content developed exclusively for BBM by fantastic artists. We also feature licensed sticker packs so you can bring some of your favorite characters to your BBM Chats.
Yes! When you purchase a sticker pack it gets associated with your BBID. That means that if you lose your phone or switch phones all your stickers will be there waiting for you when you sign in again with your BBID account. One note though, while free stickers will be restored across platforms (i.e. iOS, Android and Windows Phone), purchased stickers will not.
Stickers will be supported by BlackBerry OS 5.0+ although the selection may be a bit different across devices.
Most sticker packs will cost $1.99. That’s 1.99 in whatever the local currency is that you’re buying in. This price is in line with what other IM apps are charging for their sticker packs but ours are way cooler. They’re higher quality in many cases.
There are between 20-25 stickers in a pack. Depends on the pack.
Nope. Stickers come as a set. This is standard across other apps that sell stickers.
Negative. You can send the stickers you own to any BBM contact whether they own those stickers or not. On their end they’ll be able to see them in your chat. Of course, if they want to pass them along they’ll need to download that pack from the BBM Shop.
We are not currently soliciting ideas for new sticker packs. However, we’re always open to connecting with new artists and partners for future opportunities. Please fill out the following form and we’ll get back to you when the opportunity becomes available.
Yes, BBM is free to download. Like many apps, BBM requires access to the Internet and contributes toward your wireless data usage when you're not connected to a Wi-Fi network. Some wireless service providers offer ways for you to check your data usage so that you know whether your service plan is appropriate for your usage.
When you want to add someone as a BBM contact but you don’t want to give them your phone number or personal email address you can give them your BBM PIN instead. BBM PINs are 8 characters long and randomly generated – they are totally anonymous and no one can send you messages in BBM unless they have your PIN, and you have accepted their request to add you to BBM. When you install BBM on Android or iPhone, you will be assigned a new PIN. Your PIN is unique to the combination or your device and BlackBerry ID.
BBM is supported on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running iOS6 or iOS7. BBM works on Android phones running Android 4.0 and higher. BBM for Gingerbread is now available. We’re sorry but Android tablet devices are not supported. BBM is supported on Windows Phone devices running 8.0 and higher.
Let your contacts know what you're doing by changing your BBM name, status, or picture. If you have a status that you use often, such as a vacation notice, you can save it to use again later.
Tap your picture or name.
To change the name that your contacts see, tap your current name.
To change your BBM picture, tap your current picture. Tap . Select a new picture or animated GIF to use as your BBM picture.
In the What's on your mind? field, type a status.
You can change the sound for BBM in your device settings. For example, you can change the volume and tone or select options like Vibrate or Silent.
When you ‘PING!’ someone in BBM, the other person's device makes a sound (unless it's set to Silent). If you don't hear a sound when receiving a PING!, check the sound settings on your device.
When you’re chatting with someone on BBM you’ll see different symbols pop up next to your messages. Here’s what they mean.
- Checkmark = Sent. This means the message has left your phone.
- D = Delivered. This mean that the message has reached the other persons phone but that they haven’t read it yet.
- R = Read. This means the other person has opened your chat and your message has appeared on their screen.
- Clock = sending. This means BBM is trying to send your message. You might see this if you’re attempting to send a message in poor coverage
- Red X = oops! Something has gone wrong. Check to ensure that you have a data or wifi connection.
BBID is an account that serves as your login to BBM on Android and iPhone. Your BBID user name is an email address that you specify. Your BBM contact list and other BBM details are linked to your BBID. With your contact list linked to your BBID, you no longer have to manually backup and restore your BBM contact list when you switch devices.
If you were previously a BlackBerry smartphone owner, you may be able to transfer your BBM contact list to BBM on Android, iPhone or Windows Phone by simply logging in with the BBID you used on your BlackBerry. Note: This capability is supported by BBM 7 (launched December 2012) or higher on BBOS, or all versions of BBM on BlackBerry 10.
To view your current BBID information, do the following in the app:
- Tap > .
After a certain amount of time, if you aren't actively using BBM, you might be prompted to re-enter your BBID password. If you want to sign in with a different BBID in BBM, you can reinstall BBM.
Your BBID username is an email address that you specified so try some of your common work or personal email addresses. If you can’t remember your BBID or want to start a fresh BBM contact list, simply create a new BBID account with an email address of your choice. Your old BBID is only required if you are trying to recover a BBM contact list linked to that BBID.
There is a “forgot password” link in the setup process for BBM on Android, iPhone and Windows Phone. This prompts you to answer your “secret question” in order to reset your password. If you do not remember the answer to your secret question you have the option to reset your password via email, or to completely reset your BBID account and start over. Note: Completely resetting your BBID account will delete all information associated with it, including your BBM contact list.
To view your current BBID information, do the following:
- Tap the ‘Context Key’ then tap ‘Settings’ .
- Your BBID username will be the email address displayed.
No, contacts cannot be transferred between different BBID’s. You must re-invite your contacts to BBM if you log in with a different BBID.
Adding & Managing Contacts
There are Contacts, and then there are BBM Contacts.
BBM Contacts require an invite, and can do the following:
- See your BBM Display picture, status updates, and profile
- Call you using BBM Voice
- Send you broadcast messages
Contacts are people in your device’s Contacts app who are using BBM. No invite is required to start chatting, however Contacts are unable to see your BBM Display Picture, Display Name and Status Update. You also cannot make BBM Voice or Video calls with Contacts.
Contacts can be invited to BBM or Blocked at any time.
You can add a BBM Contact by scanning their BBM barcode. You can also add BBM Contacts by typing someone's phone number, email or BBM PIN, or by selecting a Contact on your device. People who don't have BBM can download it from your invitation.
- Tap > .
- Follow the directions on the screen.
To view your pending BBM invitations, tap > . Another great way to add BBM Contacts is by using the ‘Find Friends’ feature found under the suggested tab in Invitations. Find Friends works by identifying people from your smartphone’s address book who are using BBM already. You can then send them a private PIN invite to add them to your BBM Contact list.
- You can delete a BBM Contact by touching and holding on that contact in the BBM Contacts screen – then select the trash can icon. At this time you will also be able to choose whether you want to ignore invitations from this person in the future or just delete them from your list.
To remove a contact from your Blocked list so that you can become contacts in BBM:
- Tap > .
- Beside the Blocked Contacts field, tap Edit.
- I still have my old BlackBerry smartphone, but I don’t have a BBID. Can I still recover my BBM Contact list?
If you switched from a BlackBerry device running BBM v6.2 or earlier, and you still have access to it, do the following:
- On your old BlackBerry smartphone, update to the latest version of BBM and sign in using your BBID.
- On your current smartphone, sign in to BBM using the same BBID.
The person might not have BBM set up yet. If you invite a Contact who has BBM, but your invite is still pending, the person might not have responded to your invitation or the person might have ignored your invitation. To view your pending invitations, do the following:
- Tap > .
- Tap Sent. If an invitation remains in your Sent list for a long time, you can delete it. Just touch and hold the invitation and tap .
If some of your contacts don't set a profile picture in BBM, you won't see a picture for them in chats or in your list of BBM Contacts.
You also won’t be able to see the profile picture of a Contact that you have not yet added to BBM.
A BBM Group gives you a place to chat, track lists, and share pictures with multiple BBM users – even ones you don’t have on your own BBM contact list. With the latest release of BBM, a BBM Group can now have up to 50 people. It’s not like a multi-person chat in that it closes when the conversation ends. BBM Groups can remain active for a long time even as members come and go. If a group already has 50 members, you won't be able to join until someone leaves the group or you can start your own group. Whoever creates the group automatically controls the group membership, profile picture and name, and can disband the group and delete all of the shared information.
- Tap > .
- Do one of the following: To create a group, tap . Complete the fields.
- To see the groups that you're currently in, tap .
BBM Video is currently only available for BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Version 1 of BBM for Windows Phone does not support BBM Voice, BBM Channels, Stickers, or location sharing powered by Glympse.
You can send 3 timed messages or pictures, and retract 3 messages without a Subscription. After that, the ability to send unlimited Timed Messages and pictures and retract unlimited sent messages requires the Timed and Retracted Messages subscription.
The BBM app is available to download for free, however data charges may apply for downloading. If you use the BBM service without a Wi-Fi network connection, a data plan is required and additional charges may apply. Please check with your service provider for availability, costs and restrictions. BBM is available for compatible BlackBerry and Android smartphones as well as Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
©2015 BlackBerry. All rights reserved. BlackBerry®, BBM™ and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world.Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad and iPod are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.