BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Private Chat

BlackBerry recently rolled out a new Privacy and Control feature for their popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) mobile app.  The new Privacy and Control bundle is offered as a subscription service and will cost $0.99 a month.  Members will have access to a number of new features.  You can ensure your chats are private, time messages and pictures with the ability to retract them, and even edit messages that have already been sent.

If you’re new to BlackBerry Messenger then you might be surprised to hear that it’s available for more than just BlackBerry devices.  BBM also supports iOS and Android devices.  In fact they recently redesigned the BBM Android app.  Regardless of which mobile platform you use, the new Privacy and Control subscription will help keep your messages private and give you full control over them, even after a message is sent.

Let’s take a look at messages in BBM without Privacy and Control:

BBM Non-Private

Now take a look at the difference with Privacy and Control:

BBM Private Chat

As you can see there are no longer names attached to the messages using private chat.  The differences between the private chat messages are as follows:

  • No manes are shown
  • No profile pictures are shown
  • Chat automatically ends after a short period of time

One of the problems in the past was that people could screenshot your messages.  That’s not always a good thing.  As in the example above the boss may not like it when the employee calls in sick the next day.  The difference is that the private message doesn’t include Jesse or Zack’s names so the boss won’t know who was chatting even if someone were to capture a screenshot of their messages.  They would also have to do so quickly since the chat will automatically disappear after a short period.

The new BBM Privacy and Control feature is a step forward in private messaging.  BlackBerry users are sure to like the extra level of privacy protection.  The question is whether or not they’ll be willing to pay $0.99 a month for it.  Time will tell but a comment left on BlackBerry’s site suggested a more reasonable $2.99 to $4.99 a year would draw most BBM users.  I think if you want to ensure your chats are private then the new Privacy and Control subscription is well worth $0.99 a month.  Download the new BBM app for BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Windows, or Amazon mobile devices and try the new private chat features.