Sinking Canadian handset maker BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) is in serious need of a life preserver. Names like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are running away with the global smartphone market. With its handset business collapsing in plain sight and an actual buyout offer still elusive, BlackBerry is searching for new channels to create value for shareholders.

One of the most talked about opportunities for BlackBerry is in the growing market for messaging services. This week, BlackBerry doubled down on this growth market by rolling out its BBM messaging service to both Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms, which together control over 90% of the global smartphone market, according to IDC. If early results are any indication, BlackBerry could have just struck gold with Apple and Google. 

As BlackBerry reported, it managed to generate an impressive 5 million downloads in the first eight hours during which BBM was available on iOS and Android. This is clearly a victory for BlackBerry, and a demonstration of just how powerful Apple and Google's ecosystems really are. However, what remains unclear is whether BlackBerry can continue to grow its BBM base, or if it will fall short of some of its lofty subscriber goals. 

In this video, Fool contributor Andrew Tonner breaks down BBM's debut on Apple's iOS and Google's Android.