BlackBerry has given BBM a radical rethink. The service, which has traditionally formed the basis of chat for its hardcore fans, will now have Facebook Pages-style channels.

BBM Channels works by giving brands an updateable page which can be shared within BBM. You can see how many people have viewed and shared your BBM Channel and other users are able to comment on the pages themselves.

Say you share a post from a BBM Channel, then all your friends within BBM can see it, comment and share it on with others. You can also discuss the post separately with friends as well as browse photos and other images posted to a BBM Channel.

It's a clever idea, which basically brings social advertising to BBM. Lewis Hamilton was on stage at the BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, Florida, to explain BBM Channel's significance.

"Our fans are so passionate about Formula One so we want to keep them as close as possible," he said.

As such the Mercedes F1 team will be one of the first to run a BlackBerry Channel when the service launches in Beta today. Alicia Keys will also have a page as will Warner Records. BlackBerry is planning channel updates every two to four weeks and will launch the service commercially in the summer.


Hunter Skipworth

The baby of the Lint team, Hunter has been a tech fan since he bought his first MiniDisc..and what a waste of money that was. He began writing about electronics at the age of 16 and hasn't stopped since. Nowadays he fulfils his mobile phone and gaming obsession whilst attempting to distract people from his bizarre name. Regular meetings with the Gladiators crew see Hunter often returning to work battered and bruised. Considers himself a music obsessive, was once the most highly decorated scout in the country. Fan of trousers.