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BlackBerry goes on the offensive, claims five ways BBM trumps Apple’s iMessage


Earlier this week a report from Wired noted security company Cloudmark’s claim that iMessage is host to nearly a third of all mobile spam messages due in part to email addresses being attached in many cases to accounts. In our coverage we noted that you can manually report such messages in addition to certain workarounds to avoid being bothered.

BlackBerry, however, is taking this report as an opportunity to remind you it still has a messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, which it says is a more secure alternative to iMessage. In a recent blog post (via BGR), the handset maker goes on to list five reasons why its messaging platform is better than iMessage:

1) BBM is architected in a way that protects our 85 million users against spammers. iMessage works off of phone number or Apple ID. Anyone who has your number or Apple ID can send you messages whether you want them to or not. With BBM, users have a lot more control due to our “invite and accept” paradigm. In other words, both parties need to be mutually committed to being contacts in order to send and receive messages.

2) BBM gives you control. There’s no spam on BBM due to its self-policing system. Users are in control of their contact list and there is no way to send a message without being contacts. You can’t control someone showing up to your house, but you don’t have to open the door. With BBM someone can request to be added to your list, but you don’t have to accept their invite.

3) BBM Protected ups the security ante. Privacy is the main issue with iMessage and spam. BBM protects your privacy by only allowing users to send messages to approved contacts. Our secure enterprise messaging service, BBM Protected, takes it a step further by adding an advanced layer of encryption. This ensures your messages aren’t vulnerable to spying or hacking while being transmitted.

4) BBM empowers you to protect yourself from unsolicited messages. On the rare chance that you get spam or an unwanted ad, you only need to block the person from your contact list and refuse further attempts to reach you in the future.

5) BBM’s anti-spam features work on any platform. BBM is structured so that each user has a unique PIN that’s unique to him or her, regardless of what device is used. Here’s the added bonus: BBM is a true multi-platform network that allows you to securely message users on BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone and Android. That’s virtually 100% of all smartphones and tablets out there today. iMessage is only available on Apple products.

Despite drastically smaller smartphones sales compared to the years before iOS and Android started to dominate the market, BlackBerry continues to push its BBM service as an alternative, secure messaging platform.

Last fall the company released BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone and Android and boasted 5 million downloads within 8 hours of release. BlackBerry has continued to update its BBM platform with new versions since then.

If spam plagued your iMessage account would you consider moving to BBM? For me, it would be a massive task moving all of my contacts to another service at this point.

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  1. tg337 - 9 years ago

    And then we laughed for hours…

  2. Oh boy, the holes in that post. Points 1 and 2 are exactly the same.

    Point 2 says there is absolutely NO SPAM on BBM. Then point 4 says there DEFINITELY IS SPAM on BBM.

    The fact is that the issues affecting iMessage at the moment are conceptually very easy to remedy. It will take a bit of code, some policy changes and testing, but nothing here is very dramatic. The problems affecting iMessage are simply carried over from it being based on traditional desktop-based Instant Messaging.

    • herb02135go - 9 years ago

      And you would have thought Apple would have figured this out by now.

      BBM makes good points. I’m glad this was shared and I’ll circulate it among my peers.

      • mockery17 - 9 years ago

        As if you had any.

      • o0smoothies0o - 9 years ago

        Herb doesn’t understand any of the points so yeah they look good to him/her.

    • iSRS - 9 years ago

      I like that, too. As you point out

      Point 2 “There is no Spam on BBM”
      Point 4 “Here is how to deal with the spam and ads you don’t want” (basically, unfriend who is sending them. Not sure about you, but my friends don’t send me spam.

      Then they add Point 5. Their anti-Spam methods are cross platform. So? They invest all this time on something that doesn’t exist?

      Additionally, Point 3 they say Security and spam… Because just security alone is not an issue on iMessage. Hasn’t that been proven? Even Apple can’t read your messages? Didn’t the FBI or something say something about how hard it is to get into iMessage?

      The real question arises – Have people really gotten this much spam in iMessage? Any iMessage I have gotten have, in honesty, been text messages. Sent to my #@verizon. Not one sent as an iMessage. But I, and my wife and kids, could be the minority I suppose…

  3. John Smith - 9 years ago

    I’ve tried BBM.

    No – I don’t think it is fundamentally better than iMessage.

    But it does have one advantage, which is if you need to communicate across platforms. You can put BBM messenger on both iPhone and Android. We can’t always rely on everyone we know being on apple.

    Down side of BBM? They waste the cross platform advantage by not offering a version for android tablet … if your device is bigger than 7in screen then it just tells you it is not compatible and you can’t even download. While blackberry is boasting about their superiority they should take a look at that simple issue – which is obviously fully catered for in iMessage. Tablet version of a phone app? – not a big deal to fix.

  4. b9bot - 9 years ago

    Has been phone maker with buttons. Your software doesn’t help when your hardware is so poor. Sorry.

  5. paulywalnuts23 - 9 years ago

    Who and what is this blackberry thing???

  6. Taste_of_Apple - 9 years ago

    This comes off as desperate on BlackBerry’s part.

  7. sesaliye - 9 years ago

    So now BB wants a ride off Apple to resurrect itself from the dead. It’s long been settled that iMessage is superior to BBM, hence BB demise.
    What the hell.

  8. Drew (@gettysburg11s) - 9 years ago

    Wow, what a load. BB is stating things there that I know are untrue. BB should stick with business users, and quit trying to give consumers things they clearly don’t want.

    • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

      What do you mean? All of what they said was true. It is INCREDIBLY difficult to just send or receive a message with their platform.

      Result? Less spam. LOL

  9. Gregory Wright - 9 years ago

    Isn’t spamming more about sending unwanted messages compared to a program that is capable of accessing or intercepting messages.

  10. Jonathan J Vander Veen - 9 years ago

    Am I the only one who sees the ear wax in the image?


  11. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    All of that sounds terrible. They probably should have kept those details to themselves. Most people have never been bothered by iMessage spam….and those that have, not more than once.

    But at least we now know hard it is to BBM, even today as they face the possibility of total irrelevance and complete abandonment of their platform.

  12. crichton007 - 9 years ago

    How do they have 5 bullet points when there all saying the same thing: we don’t have spam?

  13. kevicosuave - 9 years ago

    The biggest downside to BBM is that you have to download and install it. I’d rather just send an iMessage and know that it goes through whether it’s an actual iMessage or SMS. Likewise, there are people sending iMessages and SMS texts, so I’d still have to use iMessage anyway, and I don’t really like using multiple apps for the same task.

    I don’t get spam with iMessage, so I’m not sure what that’s about.

    • calisparkz - 9 years ago

      And if the person you want to iMessage doesn’t have an iPhone? BBM is a good option, you should give it a try

      • kevicosuave - 9 years ago

        “And if the person you want to iMessage doesn’t have an iPhone?”

        It doesn’t matter if they do or not, the message goes through. If they don’t have an iPhone, the message is sent via SMS.

        “BBM is a good option, you should give it a try”

        It’s not really even an option for me. If the messages I send don’t go through to everybody, then it’s not worth using regardless of how good it is in other aspect. The #1 priority is to send and receive messages universally within the same app.

  14. thndrgrv - 9 years ago

    Blackberry is still around? LOL!

  15. Michael Bing - 9 years ago

    Who is BlackBerry?

  16. Sebastian Acosta Canessa - 9 years ago

    lol never got any spam on my iphone.

  17. poldev - 9 years ago

    And yet WhatsApp is far better than either iMessage or BBM for one simple reason: your friends have it too.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created