BlackBerry’s BBM messaging app was installed more than 1 million times in October in the Middle East, the company said, adding that the region is “an extremely strong market” and a “solid contributor” to its user base.
80 per cent of users are from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman have experienced rapid growth following the availability of BBM on Android and iOS.
“Middle Easterners have especially embraced our multi-platform strategy, with BBM on Android and iOS now accounting for 88 per cent of BBM users in the region,” wrote Matthew Talbot, senior VP of emerging solutions, in a blog post.
“We’re helping spur that growth with mobile application install campaigns and other marketing activity, but it’s also happening organically – the results of our highly engaged user base pulling friends and family into BBM,” he said.
“We’re constantly working to add more value for our customers there – such as subscriptions and local content,” he said, adding that “as BBM is so solidly established in the Middle East already, the network effect will help bring more of these new users to the platform”.
Each month, 150 million stickers are sent and received on BBM in the region and customers “love our localised sticker packs, like Arab Emotions,” available in the BBM Shop, said Talbot.
BBM subscription services, like the custom PINs for BBM, are also popular.
“We are very excited to continue the push for more sponsored content in the Middle East as well as more localised sticker packs. We’ll be announcing more of these additions soon,” he added.
The company believes the region is shifting towards digital advertising and programmatic ad buying (using software to purchase digital advertising) and wants to encourage this via its Middle East private market place.