BlackBerry reveals how ads will look in BBM Channels, confirms ‘BBM Chats Are Untouchable’

Ian Hardy

March 4, 2014 6:36pm

BlackBerry started testing an advertising platform within its social network BBM Channels that would see either sponsored invites or sponsored channels posts. The goal is to make BBM a source of revenue for the Waterloo-based company, but the specifics how this would impact the overall experience of BBM was limited.

BlackBerry took to their company blog to “set the record straight from the get go” about how advertising will work on BBM. Jeff Gadway, head of product and brand marketing for BBM, stated that “this is not traditional advertising by any stretch of the imagination” and that ads “will in no way impact the chat and sharing experience.”

Where BlackBerry sees potential revenue is having ads directly appear on BBM Channels. There will be three ways that BlackBerry and participating brands intend to insert advertising into the channels you subscribe to:

1. Featured Placements: BBM Channel owners will have the ability to secure space on the Featured Channels tab to help promote their channel.

2. Sponsored Invites: To help BBM Channel owners grow their channels, and help BBM Channels users find relevant, interesting channels, and offers channel owners the ability to invite BBM users to join their channel.

3. Sponsored Posts: Within the Updates tab in BBM, BlackBerry will allow BBM Channel owners to place sponsored posts alongside updates from your BBM Contacts and the BBM Channels you are already subscribed to. These sponsored posts will be clearly labeled.

It was reportedly going to only appear on its cross-platform apps (iPhone, Android and Windows Phone), but seems to be coming to all BBM Channel users. BlackBerry ensured that user privacy is important and “at no time is personally identifiable information about any BBM Channel user viewable by any channel owners or advertisers.” In addition, users will have some control over content as you can filter updates to only show your contacts within BBM channels, thus “you won’t see any Sponsored Posts.”

The above image how the ads will appear within BBM Channels — looks to be unobtrusive and inviting. BlackBerry also noted that your “BBM Chats Are Untouchable” and will be free of ads and sponsored content. This will be great news for the 80 million BBM users around the world.

Source: BlackBerry

  • deltatux

    It was kinda given when BlackBerry announced the whole BBM Channels thing. It’s pretty much Facebook but exclusively for mobile users.

  • AppleBerrySandwich

    As long as the app is free I will keep on using.

  • Anthony Roberts

    Honestly even if it was a bit intrusive…..i am all about blackberry making money in each division….QNX…BBM….Devices and BES……until blackberry is breaking even and later generate positive cash flow……the perception of blackberry will never change and John Chen said this : Until BlackBerry is cash flow positive we cannot win the heart of consumer if they think blackberry is not going to exist in a couple of years if they are hearing this all over the place. I said this from time doesn’t matter how much money goes into marketing and how awesome blackberry devices are until the perception of blackberry changes in the eye of consumers blackberry won’t go anywhere in the consumer space…..

    • canada is a monopoly

      Get a boat load of apps for starter get rid of the garbage apps from bb store
      And let us side load android apps god knows how difficult that can be for me Chen all about security which he is helping NSA spy on us anyways just give us apps to begin with

  • Martin Chan

    So basically we don’t see them unless we use Channels?

    • Dimitri

      That is correct. This is in the Channels. Even if its in the channels, its a good idea.

  • chm985

    BBM video on BlackBerry is hands down the best video calling service in terms of video quality and sound quality on any device. I hope BlackBerry is able to keep that same quality on the android / iOS / windows version.