BlackBerry currently has over 85 million BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) users across its platforms. The app is available on BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and coming soon to Windows Phone. Rumours have always pointed towards the Waterloo-based company bringing its popular messaging service to the desktop and this looks to be true.
In an interview with PC Mag, John Sims, President of Enterprise at BlackBerry, stated that desktop video chat will be coming to the enterprise version of BlackBerry Messenger. There is no indication of when the desktop version of BBM will be available, nor at what cost.
BlackBerry recently unveiled BBM Protected, which is the first of a number of “eBBM Suite” of products that are specifically designed for the enterprise market. BBM Protected is a subscription-based service that will offer enterprise customers “unrivalled level of trust in enterprise messaging with end-to-end encryption of messages.”
BlackBerry said they will bring BBM Protected to its enterprise customers sometime this summer, so we could possibly see desktop video chat for BBM arrive at the same time. Sims noted that “we haven’t seen the pull from the consumer market” for a desktop client so it’ll only be available for enterprise customers at launch.
During BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013, Chris Smith, VP of Application Platform at BlackBerry, showed off BBM on the desktop. The quick demo was on a Windows PC and not a stand-alone app, but a mirror of what appeared on the BB10 device (sounds like screen share). The app allowed for quick conversations, attached files, send photos and worked over Wi-Fi. Desktop video chat for BBM was not demoed at the time.