Ahead of the launch of BlackBerry Messenger on Android and iOS in the coming weeks, BlackBerry is considering spinning off BBM into a separate company, according to The Wall Street Journal. The move comes as the Canada-based company seeks to sell its BlackBerry brand or join in a strategic partnership.
The new company BlackBerry's messaging services would form under would be called BBM Inc, if the company chooses to execute the split. The BBM business is one of the most valuable parts of BlackBerry's company, so BBM Inc would bring more focus to the messaging brand. The company has yet to confirm the news.
BlackBerry continues to say it still has plans to launch BBM for Android and iOS this summer, even though the days left of summer are beginning to become limited. In the past, BBM has been strictly limited to BlackBerry OS smartphones, but BlackBerry hopes being on other platforms can bring more users to the service.
Of course, the question should be raised: if BBM is one of the more important features for BlackBerry OS, won't that potentially hurt marketshare? Time will only tell.
The Wall Street Journal further reports from sources that we may be able to expect a desktop version of BBM. A BlackBerry spokesperson would neither confirm or deny the claim.
At any rate, we may be able to see more independence for the BBM staff if the BBM Inc spin-off happens to occur. With fast moving chat services like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, and iMessage taking center stage, BBM needs to pull out some big moves to stay relevant.