This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) BBM: Can It Compete As A Social Network?

Stocks in this article: BBRYFBlnkdTWTR

BlackBerry Ltd BBRY wants to use BBM to break into another competitive market: social networking. But will it be a hit or another bust like BlackBerry 10?

Well they say if all else fails, try again, and that’s what BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) (BB) keeps trying to do. It failed to get back into the smartphone industry in a meaningful way, but now it has its eyes on another industry: the social networking industry. The company wants to transform BlackBerry Messenger from a basic messaging app into a social network.

But will it work? That’s the big question as the company will have to face off with the likes of Facebook Inc (FB), Twitter Inc (TWTR) and LinkedIn Corp (LNKD).

BlackBerry tests BBM Channels

One of the features BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) (BB) has said it would be rolling out soon is BBM Channels. Matt Hartley of the Financial Post reports that the company is testing the feature with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., as well as other potential clients. Maple Leaf executive Jeff Deline said he expects to see BBM become their newest tool for social engagement as they plan to use it to connect fans to its three major properties: the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC. They believe fans of professional players will enjoy learning more about their personalities and what they have done during the week.

Om the beginning, the sports company will create three main BBM channels for its professional teams. Executives remain open to creating more channels later, possibly with some of them dedicated to individual players.

Is BBM really anything more than Facebook or Twitter?

At this point, BBM Channels doesn’t sound like anything besides what Twitter Inc (TWTR) and Facebook Inc (FB) are already doing. People can subscribe to specific channels to follow their interests, just as they can subscribe to Twitter accounts or Facebook pages. They can also interact with celebrities on these pages, just as they can through BBM Channels. What the company really needs for BBM to be a major success is some sort of differentiation from these other companies.

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) (BB) has been struggling to survive for quite some time, looking for revenue in just about every place. Instead of going private under the offer from Fairfax Financial, the company sold some debentures in an attempt to prolong its life. But will BBM Channels be the lifeline the company needs?

Why BlackBerry might have a chance

So far BlackBerry says there have been over 30,000 channels set up in BBM with 100,000 users of the app already following those channels, suggesting that the new platform might be an early success. The company said after establishing big brand names, it expects to generate revenue by providing target and relevant sponsored content to users, just like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,810.06 +91.06 0.51%
S&P 500 2,063.50 +10.75 0.52%
NASDAQ 4,712.97 +11.1030 0.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs