The BBM messaging service was closed down on Friday, marking the end for the once crown jewel of BlackBerry’s phone business.
The app — also known as BlackBerry Messenger — was one of the early mobile messaging platforms used by many during BlackBerry’s heyday, launching exclusively on the company’s own devices in 2005 before broadening to Android and iOS in 2013 as their popularity waned.
BBM owner Emtek, which took over the app from BlackBerry in 2016, announced plans to pull the service in April due to dwindling user numbers. “We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date,” the company said.
“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.”
The arrival of the iPhone and Android smartphones gradually dented BlackBerry’s popularity, while many users started using WhatsApp and other messaging platforms that were not stuck to BlackBerry, leading the firm to pull out of designing its own phones and instead opting to licence its brand out to others.
Although the consumer app has ceased, a paid-for business version called BBMe will continue to exist.