BBM comes to Android, but only for Samsung Galaxy owners in Africa

Samsung has announced that the anticipated BBM app for Android will soon be available through the Google Play and Samsung App store, but only for those Samsung Galaxy users in Africa.

While BlackBerry itself has remained tightlipped on the actual release date of the Android app announced by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins in May, it can't be far off a global launch, chipping away at the unique features that BlackBerrys once offered.

Samsung says that BBM will form part of the Samsung Messaging Hub and will be free, joining the suite of messaging services that Samsung offers on its Galaxy line of smartphones.

"BBM provides one of the best and most robust mobile messaging experiences today. BBM has always set the standard for mobile instant messaging and we are thrilled to bring this experience to Samsung customers across Africa," said Andrew Bocking, executive vice-president BBM at BlackBerry.

"BBM is loved by people who rely on fast, trusted messaging, along with the immediacy that our delivered and read statuses bring. Samsung customers will soon join the BBM nation in its love of the 'D' and 'R' notifications."

Other messaging services will tell you when your message has been delivered, but one of the popular features of BBM is that you can see when a person has read your message, so you have a better idea of whether it has been seen or not.

Samsung has been pushing its own messaging service, ChatOn, across its devices, but faced with cross-platform services like WhatsApp, the appeal is perhaps limited. BBM's move onto Android and iPhone may bring some users back to a service they'd long since abandoned, but at the same time, might make it easier for those still using a BlackBerry to bid adieu.