BBM welcomes over 20M new users in one week
After the amazing launch of BBM™ on Android® and iPhone® devices, with more than 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours, BBM has now ended its first week with more than 80 million monthly active users*, including over 20 million new users on Android and iPhone devices.
During its first week, BBM was the top free overall app in 35 countries in Google Play™ and in 107 countries in the App StoreSM, and continues to maintain a strong position in key markets such as Canada, the US, the UK, Indonesia and much of the Middle East, to name a few.
“It is great to see so many people downloading BBM, but the true measurement for us is engagement – the connections being made and the conversations in which our BBM community engages. The power of BBM has always been the active, real conversations and interaction that our customers enjoy,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of BBM at BlackBerry. “From here on out, we will focus on active users of BBM and will no longer focus on simple download numbers.”
With the BBM community now at more than 80 million active users around the globe, users are connecting on the private social network like never before. This past weekend, BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB) was able to remove the virtual line-up so that Android and iPhone users can now immediately download, sign in and start using BBM without having to wait.
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BBM users are enjoying the immediacy and control that BBM offers as they chat with their new contacts – either one-to-one, in multi-person chats or as part of a BBM Group. The delivered and read statuses, as well as the message-in-progress alert, keep people engaged and active in conversations on BBM. BBM users can also share files such as photos, and voice notes, as well as update their statuses with ease. BBM Groups allows photo, calendar, chat and file sharing for up to 30 people in a user-generated community.
Every BBM user has a unique PIN that helps maintains their privacy, so users never have to give out their phone number or email address to a new or casual contact. BlackBerry ID connects with a person’s PIN, BBM contact list and services to make device switching quick and easy.
The BBM experience will continue to evolve. In the coming months, BlackBerry will deliver BBM Video calling, BBM Voice calling and BBM Channels – a new community building service to connect BBM users even more broadly – to Android and iPhone users.
Android and iPhone device users can download BBM by visiting BBM.com.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.