Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is clinging to relevance in the market, as iOS and Android devices forge ahead in a hugely crowded market. To entice more people to make use of its software, the company announced that video calling on BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS will be coming in July.
The service went live however in North America yesterday, and BlackBerry cautioned that not everybody will be able to make use of it just yet.
“Please note we’re initially limiting availability because this is the first time we’re launching BBM Video calling, and we want to monitor performance, gather feedback, and iron out any kinks that may arise before we roll it out globally,” BlackBerry said in a blog post.
It explained that there is no sign-up or approval required to use the feature, as you simply tap the icon to initiate a call with one of your BBM contacts. After that, BBM will ask whether you want to make a voice call or try a video call.
“Globally, mobile bandwidth is increasing with the rollout of 4G networks, and devices now have the cameras, software and power that make it possible. Sure, there are some scenarios where good, old-fashioned voice is the better solution. But increasingly, video is taking over as our no. 1 communication technology,” said Matthew Talbot, Senior Vice President – Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry.