BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) Introduces BBM Video Calling On Android, iPhone
Faced with fading fortunes in mobile, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) tries to prop things up. The company is bringing video calling through its BBM app to Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS mobile platforms. BBM video calling was previously only available on BlackBerry’s native BlackBerry 10 operating system.
How do you get in?
You don’t have to do much to make a video calling through BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s BBM app if you are using the app on Android or iOS. However, of importance to note is that BBM video calling is only supported on Android 4.4 (KitKat) and higher and iOS 8 and higher.
BlackBerry says that if already have BBM installed on your Android or iOS handset, you will be promoted to choose whether you want to make a voice or video call when you tap on the app to make a call. That means that there is nothing that BBM users need to do to opt in for video call using the app, save for the need for the right version of the operating system on the device you are using.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is initially only making a limited rollout of BBM video calling. As such, the service is only available for BBM users in the U.S. and Canada.
According to BlackBerry, BBM video calling will be rolled out globally in July. But not before the company monitors its performance and gathers feedback from users about the service.
The rise of video calling
With carriers offering more mobile bandwidth to their subscribers, mobile video calling has been on the increase. According to Pew Research, 47% of adult smartphone users in the U.S. made a video call last year.
On its part, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) says it is pushing into mobile video calling market because it believes live video enables people to put faces to names. For businesses, the company says live video helps to simplify recruitment of job candidates as the virtual meet-up saves on travel expenses.
Propping up BBM
Bringing BBM video app to Android and iPhone is the latest attempt by BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) to make the app relevant to users. Recently, the company also dropped the $1 a month subscription for additional BBM privacy and messaging features.
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