It's Official: BlackBerry Ltd's BBM Has Stalled

As Facebook's (NASDAQ: FB  ) $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp proved in February, there's plenty of value to be had in a good mobile messaging platform. But what happens if that platform can't maintain its growth?

According to the Fool's Steve Symington in the video below, that's the problem BlackBerry Ltd's  (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) BBM platform is currently facing. Specifically, after boasting in late October when BBM gained 20 million new users in its first week as an available download for iOS and Android, BlackBerry management just confirmed BBM currently has "just" 85 million monthly active users -- good for an average gain of roughly 1 million new users per month since then.

That might sound good, but consider the fact in the five months leading up to its acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp grew from roughly 250 million monthly active users to 450 million. When Facebook announced the agreement, it stated WhatsApp was still adding around 1 million new registered users per day.

Steve also points out BlackBerry management claims to have a "very solid BBM monetization plan" in place, with plans to further grow its user base in part through its inclusion in the Nokia X platform, Windows phones, and with its enterprise centric versions of the software. But will that be enough given the absence of meaningful growth going forward? To hear Steve's full take on what this means for BBM, check out the video below.

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2014, at 5:38 PM, xxBURK wrote:

    BBM just received an update that has boasted their downloads. Update includes: larger download sizes, voice calls between all, sicker packs, group photos and videos. I find it hard to believe you didn't read this for such a smart website?

    http://crackberry.com/bbm-gets-another-boost-thanks-bbm-stic...

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2014, at 5:49 PM, cbglobal wrote:

    You will note in Steve's bio what he "studied" in college. Most people say they graduated from a certain college. So Steve must be a drop out. Nobody takes math and computer science and then goes into "sales" unless they are incompetent.

    Bet you never realized that this website takes it moniker seriously. They really do hire fools.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2014, at 6:41 PM, TMFSymington wrote:

    @xxBURK, I did see the "stickers" launch today, which speaks to the monetization strategy I mentioned in the video. This in mind, the majority of new downloads propelling it up the charts likely stems from those existing users grabbing the latest upgrade, so doesn't guarantee it will translate to any significant number of new monthly active users.

    @cbglobal, FWIW, I graduated in 2006, then worked for a GIS and defense software subsidiary of Textron Corporation as a "sales engineer." Think of it as being huge nerd who likes to communicate: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/sales-engineers.htm#tab-2

    Thanks for watching and Fool on!

    -

    Steve (TMFSymington)

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2014, at 7:53 PM, jcdaris wrote:

    Well Steve.. it's official. You are a fool spewing garbage. BBM is less than 6 months old and just beginning to crawl.. and so far doing just fine.

    If you did a little research on whatsup you'd know it's been around a while and many European (cosmote) carriers have set up whatsup accounts with message restricted discount.

    Blackberry is in the beginning of a restructuring plan with unknown cash flow streams, and QNX is the best and most secure mobile OS Platform today..

    5 million new active BBM users in the last 3 months is not a stall.. it's a good start..

    The only thing that I find official is your attempt to grab a headline...

    Amazing how the fools rag miss represent it's articles of just another fools opinion as analyst reports.. Sad.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2014, at 8:13 PM, devvvv wrote:

    It's lack of innovation that's doing them in. Chen is streaming the company rather then, resolving the root of the problem. I would love the opportunity to give this tech company what it needs to win. Chen is good at cutting costs, but at the same time you have to know what will sell and what won't. That really is the only job of a CEO his helpers (management) does the rest. It takes quite a knack to be innovative, you can have all the schooling in the world,however does not automatically grant you with the power of innovation.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2014, at 8:16 PM, devvvv wrote:

    Steve thanks for the very truthful story, don't mind those BlackBerry loyalists, sometimes the truth can hurt

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2014, at 1:28 AM, xxBURK wrote:

    BBM will not grow at the same rate as other social apps due to the brutal press BlackBerry received throughout 2013. As they update and as positive word of mouth spreads, it will increase its downloads at a quicker rate. @devvvv Mr. Chen has only been with the company for four months. Is he supposed to have cut costs and innovated all in that short period? I realize his initials are J.C, but even Jesus couldn't have done all of that so fast.

    For those of you who don't think BlackBerry is advancing the technology boundaries.....here is a short video of someone who does. It's people like this that will spread the truth and not get fooled by all the unwarranted bashing of BB10. Shawn Burk, Toronto

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybhn4UbWUsE

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2014, at 4:36 AM, BigJohn9 wrote:

    Blackberry needs to drop out of the consumer market and just sell specialized phones to the government. My current android can do everything a blackberry does times ten, works in real time and never goes down. (No need to bother with upgrades, if it could go faster it would be working in the future and predict my needs) Why spend all the cash fighting a losing battle to go bankrupt when you can play a niche well and stay as a going concern, perhaps one day in the distant future creating a new product that could make you an Apple Inc. But for now all this hoopla about getting in on the low is just hurting the company by motivating it make bad decisions. Wait until it hits 0.22 cents than start posting your get it while you can pitch.

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