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Thursday, January 8, 2015

BlackBerry Now On Google Android Wear

Bringing BlackBerry’s messaging service, BBM, to the iPhone and Android has proven to be the right move for the Canadian phone maker. This fiscal year, the company is on track to earn $100 million from the service, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said at a press event today at CES in Las Vegas. In 2014, there were 140 million newly registered BBM customers on iPhone and Android.

At the press event, BlackBerry announced that it’s bringing BBM to the wearable world. BBM will be available on a bunch of Android Wear smartwatches, such as the Samsung Gear S smartwatch.

Like seemingly the majority of smartwatch apps, it’ll mostly just help you look at messages and alerts on your smartwatch without having to pull out your smartphone. When a new BBM message pop up on your smartwatch, you have the option to preview the message or view the whole thing; dismiss messages; respond using a canned response or using Google GOOGL -0.11% Now voice recognition software; and accept BBM invites.

The integration is nothing too special, but the company is hoping it’ll increase the stickiness of its messaging service. “Increasing the MAU [monthly active users] stickiness will hopefully automatically increase CPM [cost per impression],” said Chen at the event.

Although smartwatches still haven’t exactly proven themselves as a gadget that’s here to stay, growth is expected. Smartwatches are estimated to ship more than 28 million by 2015 and more than 60 million by 2017, according to research outfit Canalys.

In 2015, BlackBerry is going to build out BBM more—including adding more stickers and virtual goods in the app’s store. It’ll also be announcing a premium subscription service for getting rid of ads in the app and more options for enterprise customers.

@ganstamarcus