BlackBerry talks next BBM update for iPhone and Android, group photo messaging to come

BlackBerry has detailed a new version of BBM for iPhone and Android, as competition in the mobile messaging space heats up.

The Waterloo-based company says the most notable feature coming in the new version is that it will enable users to send pictures to several friends at a time in one group message. Essentially, BlackBerry is playing catch-up in this regard, as competitors WhatsApp, Apple iMessage, and Google Hangouts have had the feature for quite some time.

Furthermore, the update will up file sending to 16MB from 6MB. "What this means is that you’ll be able to send bigger pictures, larger documents and longer videos," BlackBerry brags. Instead of sending 6 seconds of 1080p HD video, uses will be able to send 16 seconds of video using the same settings.

Read: BBM for iPhone hands-on

BlackBerry has recommitted itself to the BBM platform to not only keep relevant in the smartphone space, but as a way of gaining revenue.

"With millions of you depending on BBM to connect with your most important contacts, we want to provide the best messaging experience possible," Jeff Gadway, head of product and brand marketing for BBM, said. "So, we’re taking your feedback and we’re trying to knock it out of the park by bringing new features and improvements to BBM on a regular basis."

It wasn't revealed when the new version of BBM would hit the market, but BlackBerry asks users to continue feedback so it can improve its product.

A "version 2.0" release of BBM in February brought BBM Voice and BBM Channel to iPhone and Android users. Support for Windows Phone is coming, as well.