BBM may become its own division within BlackBerry

Struggling smartphone-maker BlackBerry is apparently considering turning its popular messaging program, BBM, into its own division within the company. This is according to The Register, which cites “the omnipresent sources close to the matter”.

That means BlackBerry could be positioning BBM to take on the big names in the messaging business like WhatsApp and WeChat, multi-platform services that boast users in the hundreds of millions. In May, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced that BBM would soon be available on iOS and Android, but a definite date was not announced. Despite being one of the first messaging platforms, though, BBM only has around 60 million users according to BlackBerry’s own figures, so clearly some growth is sorely needed.

The Register article finishes off with this sombre thought: “By spinning off BBM as a separate subsidiary, however, BlackBerry could also make it easier for potential buyers to carve up the other parts of the company. Heins has reportedly been considering various options to slow BlackBerry’s financial free-fall, including taking it private. With the company hemorrhaging cash and its shares down 19 per cent this year, presumably no ideas are off the table.”

Sombre, indeed.

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