BBM Vs Whatsapp – Does Blackberry Messenger Hold The Advantage?

By | January 10, 2014
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Opinions about whether Whatsapp is a better mobile IM application than Blackberry Messenger, or vice versa, is extremely polarized among smartphone-users all over. We here present a few points that suggest BBM might just have an edge over its more popular rival.

It’s the big fight between the two biggies from the world of instant messaging apps that everyone is talking about. Ever since Blackberry Messenger (BBM) became available for iphones and Android devices, techies around the world have been trying to guesstimate whether it would be able to match (or supersede) the popularity of Whatsapp any time soon. Although the Blackberry platform is currently facing a host of problems, the following points indicate that people do have ample reasons to switch from Whatsapp to BBM:

 

  1. Creating customized contact list – On Whatsapp, there is no scope of building your very own chat contact list. Every person whose number is in your phonebook (and who is also a Whatsapp user) will automatically be added to your chat lists. On the other hand, to create a BBM contact list, you will need the unique 8-character PIN number of every user. You have much greater freedom to choose with whom you wish to chat!

  2. Checking the status of chat messages – Many professionals from the domain of Android and iphone app development in India feel that this one might be a clinching factor in the BBM Vs Whatsapp fight. The tiny ‘D’ and ‘R’ symbols beside every message you send via BBM indicate that it has been ‘delivered’ and ‘read’, respectively. Whatsapp has a ‘single check’ and ‘double check’ feature – but that only indicates when your messages get delivered to the server, and to the phone of the recipient.

  3. Sharing of files – The file-sharing support offered by BBM is stronger than that of Whatsapp as well. On the latter, you cannot send anything other than pictures, videos, and location information. Blackberry Messenger, however, allows users to share multimedia files in practically every format. Sharing calendar information and files in groups on BBM is also decidedly easier.

  4. Less of a disturbance – If someone creates a group on Whatsapp and includes your number in it – you will keep getting updates from it, irrespective of whether you are interested in the topic(s) under discussion or not. You can, of course, leave the group – but that isn’t possible without everyone else noticing it. On BBM, you get to decide whether or not you should accept a group chat invitation. There’s no chance of your smartphone keeping blinking round the clock!

  5. Your activities remain more private – If you are a BBM user, no one can know when you are logged on – except for the person(s) you actually ping for chat. Whatsapp, however, shows the exact time when a user was ‘last seen at’. There’s no scope of quickly checking the app before curling up with a book for an hour – people will notice you are online, and would expect you to respond on Whatsapp.

  6. Audio/video chatting features – Be it for general users, or professionals from a mobile application development company – this is another comprehensive #win factor for Blackberry Messenger. BBM’s VoIP is nothing short of excellent – totally unlike the noticeable lags in the audio chat feature of Whatsapp. Of course, the latter has no option for live screen chat, which sets it at a further disadvantage. BBM even boasts of seamless screen-sharing options.

  7. Security – The Blackberry mobile application development platform has always been a pioneer in the field of smartphone security – and BBM (rather expectedly) trumps Whatsapp on this count. Even if an unknown person (with shady intentions) manages to get your phone number, (s)he will not be able to contact you on BBM, since the PIN number would be required. If you remain loyal to Whatsapp though, you keep yourself exposed to the risk of receiving offensive/lewd messages from strangers.

  8. The PING feature – Yet another specialty of BBM, that Whatsapp lacks. If the person you are chatting with is not responding for a fairly long time, you can click on the ‘Ping Contact’ option – to send a bold, red-colored ‘PING!’ display to his/her phone. The device would vibrate too. If someone snoozes off while chatting with you on Whatsapp, you can do nothing about it, than waiting patiently…or going to sleep yourself!

  9. Social media integration in status messages – The custom status message you set on BBM can be shared directly through the app – on your Facebook/Twitter profile. That, in turn, makes it more dynamic than Whatsapp, where you can only choose from a set of pre-defined status messages. This ain’t a factor that would affect your chatting experience, but the way your profile is set up also matters, right?

  10. Chat logs can be copied and emailed – Some people can consider this as a disadvantage of BBM, but in reality – this feature often comes in handy for people chatting on BBM on important business topics. Once your interactions are over, you can copy the entire chat and email it to yourself and/or any other person who needs to be kept in the loop. On Whatsapp, records of past chats get automatically deleted over time.

From the perspective of mobile app designing and user-convenience, Whatsapp does not provide any extra advantage over Blackberry Messenger. The one point where Whatsapp does come out clearly on top is the availability of emoticons (it has about 190 of them, while BBM has less than 100). However, this factor rather pales into insignificance, when all the above points are taken into consideration!

 

Which side are you on in this big fight? Let us know!

 

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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