At one time considered to be a vehicle for additional revenue, BlackBerry is ending support for its group messaging feature, BBM Meetings.
This collaboration add-on was announced November 2014 for $13.75 CAD per month and allowed users who downloaded the BBM Meeting app to schedule, host and 25 participants in meetings from any device – BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Windows PC or Mac.
“Effective February 10th 2016, the BBM Meetings service will be discontinued,” said BlackBerry on its website. “For customers using the service, and who wish to continue to use a mobile-first web conferencing solution, BlackBerry is pleased to facilitate a direct relationship with our preferred partner and vendor, Zoom Communications. We believe a direct connection with Zoom Communications will provide you with a comparable web conferencing solution that is both efficient and cost-effective. Customers have the option to convert to the Zoom web conferencing solution – or a vendor of their choosing – over a 10 week transition period.”
Zoom Communications is based out of San Jose, California and its conferencing solution is priced higher at $14.99/month USD. However, BlackBerry and Zoom are offering a 10 percent discount for those who sign up until December 31st, which will bring the yearly cost to $135 USD.
BlackBerry wouldn’t comment on why BBM Meetings was shut down, but earlier in the year CEO John Chen said he wanted to accrue $500 million in revenue from software by the end of fiscal 2016, and this service was likely not generating meaningful income for the company.