LIVE FROM CES 2015: BlackBerry announced it will extend BBM to support Android Wear-based smartwatches, as the company also provided an update on its recent efforts with the messaging service.
The app for wearables will enable users to receive alerts when new messages come in, see senders and preview messages; read BBM messages in full; respond to messages hands-free with Google Now or chose pre-defined messages for a fast reply; and accept BBM invites.
For users with BBM installed on an Android smartphone, BBM for Android Wear features will become available on the watch automatically.
Speaking at an event here this morning, John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, said the move is designed to improve stickiness of the BBM platform. “When you increase the MAU [monthly active user] stickiness, hopefully you automatically increase the CPM [advertising yield].”
In a presentation, BlackBerry said that during 2014 it saw 140 million-plus new registrations on iPhone and Android, although the number of monthly active users is closer to 90 million.
And Chen is bullish about the potential to monetise the service, having previously focused on extending its reach across platforms.
“You know that I’ve made some very bold statements about making money from BBM. I think it’s about $100 million in this coming fiscal year. I’d like to give you some ideas why we were so bullish about that. Part of the reason is because my sales people told me they could do $100 million. I don’t believe it myself, but I believe in them, and they are going to deliver,” he said.