Facebook Messenger vs. BBM — Why BBM Sucks

BBM was just released for iOS and Android and a number of people are quickly jumping onto the new-old messaging platform. Before you hop on the bangwagon and add to the messaging fragmentation problem, let me explain why Facebook Messenger is better than BBM.

First off, BBM sucks is a bit harsh. BBM is actually great, it’s just unnecessary and worse than messaging from within Facebook.

1. Everyone* already uses Facebook.

This first point should be obvious but many people still miss just how amazing Facebook is. Until Facebook came along, there was no platform that could single-handedly connect you with everyone you would ever want to speak with (and even some you probably never will want to speak with, but that’s okay).

Facebook Messaging allows you to instantly connect with anyone on your Facebook, no PIN required (more on that later). You can message your closest friends, or reach out to an acquaintance for a very random and specific conversation.

* there aren’t many people left unreachable via Facebook, especially for younger generations.

2. Choice

You can use Facebook Messenger, the dedicated app, or you can message people right from within Facebook. Since many people are already on Facebook throughout the day, it just makes sense to pull up the message box and start typing away!

3. No need for PINs.

Tired of updating people’s phone numbers? Adding PINs? Dealing with phone changes? No worries! With Facebook Messenger you don’t have to worry about any of that. Simply log into to Facebook on any connected device on the planet and you can pick up where you left off in conversations, instantly!

4. Facebook Messenger can be used on a plethora of devices including the desktop.

Apparently BBM will eventually be releasing a desktop application, but as it stands Facebook Messenger has an enormous advantage since the platform remains exactly the same whether you are on desktop or mobile. This is a huge benefit to Facebook. When you’re on the go, use your phone. When you are at home, however, you have the option of typing much faster at your desktop, should you choose to do so.

5. BBM will lead to more fragmentation.

The biggest problem with BBM, the thing that truly does suck, is that it will lead to more fragmentation. Facebook was slowly starting to take over as the default communication platform for many people. Sure, people still text and use iMessage, but Facebook Messenger was always a reliable backup used for connecting you to anyone — especially good for conversations that contain close friends and acquaintances.

6. Facebook Messenger has all of the features of BBM.

Read receipts? Check. Send pictures? Check. Send emoticons? Check. Facebook Messenger has all of the desired features of BBM and none of the undesired ones (like requiring PINs, gross).

7. BBM is unnecessary.

By now, you have probably figured out a fantastic way to keep in touch with your friends. Maybe it’s WhatsApp, texting or iMessage, or even better, you’re messaging through Facebook. Either way, BBM will only complicate the communication with your friends.

Please stop this fragmentation nightmare. Don’t jump on the bangwagon!

Learn Something New Subscribe

The Painfully Slow Death of RIM (Research In Motion)

Intense title, right? Yeah, that ought to get the juices flowing. I believe it is true that Research in Motion (RIM)’s best days may be long gone. Now hear me out and if you disagree then comment away!

Is it just me, or does Mike Lazaridis look like he is going to cry in this video? It seems like a rather straight-forward question that any powerhouse CEO would easily be able to tackle. My theory is he has a lot to worry about right now and here’s why:

1. The BlackBerry PlayBook is Unbelievably Bad

Don’t take it from me, here is a nice summary of PlayBook reviews.

I have always held a certain special hatred for the BlackBerry (BB) operating system. In one of my past jobs I was given a BB for free (including the plan) so I used it. Everyday I waited for the day that I would be “forced” to get a better phone when I was no longer able to get the BB for free. Such a glorious day it was when I picked up my iPhone 4!

Don’t tune out yet. Yes, I own an iPhone – but I am not a fanboy. In fact, I am already considering getting an Android phone next because of the “my-way-or-the-highway’ locked-down nature of the iPhone (no different than the BB). But I digress.

2. The BlackBerry Operating System is SO bad

Did I already say that? I suppose I did, but it requires more depth. A successful phone these days is about the user-experience. It’s about the ability to customize (ahem, Apple could learn a thing or two here *hint: we shouldn’t have to jailbreak!), a sleek interface, a smooth powerful system and a diverse application offering. The BB OS has done little to innovate in any of these categories. The only reason it hasn’t disappeared already is because of its brand.

3. The Brand will only carry you so far

Consumers are always rational and make informed decisions when purchasing products, right? Wrong. Purchase decisions are made largely based on intangibles like brand recognition and loyalty. This is why many people turn a blind eye to BB’s flaws. Many BB users are beginning to see the light, however. It used to be that the only positive thing I would hear about BBs would be “that is has BBM” or “that it is produced locally”. I hear less and less of those arguments everyday as people are slowly starting to see that there are simply better options out there.Don’t get me wrong, BBs used to be the best thing on the market – but that time has long past and it is time to let go.

If I had a lot of money (unfortunately, I do not), I would short BB stock and wait 20-30 years. Given their size and the apparent power of their (obsolete) brand it will take a LONG time for BB to disappear and perhaps they will never truly disappear. Perhaps they can continue to find business in other parts of the world where consumers are less picky. As far as I’m concerned, though, BB is starting to show signs of a terminal illness beginning to spread beneath its shiny black surface.

A great article that builds on what I have mentioned here: http://www.slate.com/id/2291255/

Feels good. I’ve been meaning to get a summary like that out for a while. Some of you disagree, I’m sure. Feel free to comment. But please, no more “but it has BBM!”

Update: It’s happening even faster than I imagined. See this Globe and Mail article

Another Update: looking like I was right http://gizmodo.com/5922154/rim-cutting-5000-jobs-and-pushing-back-bb10-in-disastrous-quarter