Global rollout of BBM for Android and iOS paused, as 1.1 million use an unreleased version

The 21 and 22 September global rollout of BBM for Android and iOS has been paused, BlackBerry announced.

The choice to delay the two apps comes after 1.1 million active users began using the unreleased Android version that leaked online on Saturday. The influx of users caused performance issues on BlackBerry's servers, prompting BlackBerry to release only the apps "when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations" .

BBM for Android didn't see its way to Google Play on Saturday, but the iOS version was released on the App Store in a select few countries around the world as part of a staggered rollout, before being pulled. Users who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will still be able to use the app. 

The issues Android and iPhone users saw have not impacted BBM service for BlackBerry, as we suspect they're running on separate servers entirely. 

Thorsten Heins, chief executive officer at BlackBerry, originally teased the launch of BlackBerryMessenger on handsets other than BlackBerry’s own in May while on stage at the BlackBerry Live conference in Florida. The fact 1.1 million active users stormed to download BBM for Android could be promising for the BBM brand, which may be spun-off into a separate company from the BlackBerry mothership.

Update: The company spoke about issues further on Monday, saying: 

"We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone.

"The team is now focused on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when we go live with the official BBM for Android app."