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

BlackBerry's BBM platform showed promise after its release for Android and iOS, but there may be trouble brewing with its growth. One Fool explains.

Apr 3, 2014 at 4:12PM

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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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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