BlackBerry launched the first product as part of its eBBM Suite that will provide messaging services optimised for enterprise use.
BBM Protected provides improved security for messages sent between BlackBerry smartphones, which it claims makes BBM the “most secure mobile instant messaging experience in the industry”.
BBM Protected is the only messaging app that uses FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography library and allows users to communicate with their colleagues and personal contacts, as well as with employees of other companies using the technology.
BBM Protected can be used on BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 6.0 or higher and BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode. The technology will be launched for BlackBerry 10 devices using BlackBerry Balance, as well as iOS and Android, later in the year.
Other services will be added to the eBBM Suite over time, with the aim of enabling mobile workers to be more productive. BlackBerry is aiming to use a subscription model for eBBM.
With BlackBerry renewing its focus on addressing the enterprise market in September last year, it has been looking at how it can transform its BBM messaging service into a revenue-generating product.
The eBBm Suite was announced at Mobile World Congress in February and BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in April that the company has “a very solid BBM monetisation plan”.
Another possibility for generating revenue is a pay-per-user model for BBM Channels, which has half a million channels, including brands such as CNBC, Time, Rolling Stone and Virgin Atlantic. Other near-term approaches include the introduction of stickers, which users can now buy from BBM Shop and add to messages.
Chen also said BlackBerry is considering mobile payment functionality for the messaging app.
BBM was launched for Android and iOS in October last year, after only being available on BlackBerry devices previously, and now has 85 million monthly active users as a result.
The company said it will be launched for Windows Phone in the third quarter of the year and will be available on selected Nokia Lumia smartphones as well as the Android-based Nokia X platform.