BBM, or BlackBerry Messenger, the encrypted messaging service that introduced many to the joys of mobile chat – and was blamed for the 2011 London riots – has finally been shut down yesterday. The Indonesian company that owns the BBM announced its plans to kill the support for the messenger in the month of April providing the user with some time to migrate to another service.
The company, Emtek, in one of their blog post mentioned that “We are proud of what we have built to date … The technology industry, however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on. Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on.”
Back in the time, BBM was the most secure service users could get. The encryption technique that BlackBerry used restricted any person or a government body to eavesdrop on the communication. The London riots in 2011 led to a burst of public attention for the service, which was making it much easier to send one-to-many broadcasts than most of the phones at the time.
But in the advance tech standards of the world in 2019, where messaging apps like Whatsapp and iMessage provide end-to-end encryption, meaning that only the recipient can decrypt the message, BBM somewhere lost its value as it still used conventional encryption technique which no doubt provided encryption but at the same time the company themselves have access to decode the message. The conventional feature led them in disputes with various law enforcement agencies which wanted access for the same.
But if you somehow, unlike most people, love to use BBM you might be happy knowing that the enterprise version BBMe will still live on and continue operations as normal, but you will have to pay a subscription fee of $2.50 every six months to enjoy the services. BBMe does offer end-to-end encryption and message editing / unsending where the consumer version didn’t, so it may be worth the dollars if you’re still an avid BBM believer.