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BlackBerry Messenger dies today, but it will never really go



The BlackBerry Bold 9000 is unparalleled with the BlackBerry Bold 9000. It was a revolutionary design when it was announced just a month later, in 2008, the BlackBerry Bold was not very flashy. But I had one thing that the iPhone 3G did not have: BlackBerry Messenger. It became a defining feature of BlackBerry devices and changed forever the way phone users had informal and business conversations. Today RIM, BlackBerry Messenger is gone forever.

BlackBerry Messenger (better known as BBM) was one of the first instant messaging (IM) platforms that reached mobile devices in 2005. They were able to use a BBM account with their exclusive BlackBerry Pin instead of a standard text message. BBM managed to take the traditional desktop messages and translate them to the small computers in our pockets. It was amazing.

Although it was not perfect. BBM looked like an early version of Facebook WhatsApp. The text bubbles were cluttered, the user interface was clumsy when browsing between messages, and if your BlackBerry wheel gets stuck, good luck scrolling through the messages. Despite the weaknesses of BBM, it became the application that defined my early experience in high school for two main reasons: group chats and a striking similarity to instant messaging desktop platforms such as AIM.

I got my Bold 9000 in 2008. I was in the tenth grade and like everyone else, my life revolved around my phone. My friends and I send text messages every day and night. We all had BlackBerrys. Some people got new devices from their parents as birthday gifts, others used old recycled phones. Through BBM, those individual text messages soon became endless and elaborate group chats. We became a perfect batch of new BlackBerry users. RIM already made a name for itself among companies and governments, but then it began to reach a crucial new audience: young consumers. For 2013, BBM had 60 million monthly active users. My friends and I were some of the first.

It seems silly to say it today, when WhatsApp has more than a million users and group chats are part of our daily lives, but at the time, it was sensational. I did not have to wait until I was at home to log in to MSN Messenger to continue talking with my friends.

It was also through the BBM group chat function that I entered my first high school relationship. We approach the constant group chats with our friends and, finally, we are divided into instant messaging. Yes, in 2008, I made the BBM equivalent of sliding in the DM. Every time I saw the flashing green light of my Bold turn red, which meant a new message, I experienced that little burst of heat in the pit of my stomach. It was ridiculous and stimulating. There was no difference for me at 15 between my physical relationship with this person and our life at BBM. In any case, the laughter felt even more intimate and sure.

I was not the only person who felt that way about BBM either. The first messages in the crackberry The forum is full of people trying to summarize why BBM works better than standard text messages. "It's like an exclusive club", one crackberry member reflected. "It makes the SMS look old," added another.

Ironically, one of the most cited reasons in crackberry Defending the superiority of BBM is also partly a reason why my relationship faded. BBM created one of the most anxiety-inducing messaging functions that still exists today: read receipts.

Reading receipts were introduced together with BBM in 2005. When a message was sent, a lowercase "D" will appear next to it. When the same message was read, the "D" would change to "R". People thought he was a genius. The crew members knew when someone was available and could receive an instant response. But the reading receipt function bite me again, a person who often reads a message and answers hours later.

In 2011, Urban Dictionary added the term "rbomb" to specifically address cultural change in platforms such as BBM. People did not want the other person to know when a message was read. Several Reddit publications began to appear asking how to deal with the "anxiety of the receipt of reading". Only this year, Dazed Digital It can be affected by the mental health of people. The read receipts chased me for years after leaving BBM. I just re-powered them through iMessage recently as an experiment. The only difference between my anxiety now and then is not having to deal with an angry red blinking light on the top of my phone. The BlackBerry, through BBM, demanded attention.

For everything that made BBM sometimes frustrating to use, it gave me something I miss today: a private community. BBM felt like a small oasis in the growing fields of social networks and sites that wanted everything to be bigger. Sites such as Habbo Hotel and Twitter created the Internet we know today, all based on giving people the chance to talk to each other. But BBM was different. The group chats provided emotional support and a website that he could not replicate. The fact that it was on your phone is already incredibly personal because it lives in your hands, it only strengthened that feeling. Today, during a time when the Internet is too noisy, I find myself thinking with nostalgia about the first BBM group chats.

New York Magazine"Max Lee says that group chats are" making the Internet fun again. "It feels like many of us are struggling to return to a place that reminds us of the old school's quieter forums and instant messaging platforms. That never stopped being BBM for me It was the platform that helped me fall in love with cell phones and what encouraged me to share stupid memes It was the service that showed me little experiences online.

In 2013, a research report of The balloon and the mail It was suggested a plan to help save RIM, a unique company in life that was not up to Apple and Android, was BBM. One executive introduced a plan to "pressure wireless service providers to adopt" BBM as a complete replacement for traditional text messages. The plan never started. BBM stayed a little bit out there, and eventually it became an optional messaging platform on Apple and Android devices, but it never managed to recover the cultural cache it once had.

I still use group chats today with my friends. I'm about four. One lives in Facebook Messenger, the others are through iMessage or standard text messages. Those friends are also in their own group chats, through iPhones and a variety of Android phones. Nobody uses BlackBerry Messenger anymore, but it created the basis of how the world still communicates today.


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