Report: BlackBerry May Spin Off BBM

The company formerly known as RIM has done everything it can to save itself. RIM even changed its name to BlackBerry in hopes of leveraging its flagship branding, rolled out a new mobile operating system, introduced spiffy new smartphones, and got creative with a music service.

But it appears to be too little too late.

After reports surfaced earlier this month that BlackBerry is considering all its survival options -- including selling itself -- more speculation about the company's future is coming from the Wall Street Journal. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal reports that BlackBerry is considering spinning off its messaging service into a separate unit.

"We think there is a great opportunity in bringing BBM to other platforms as people look for the right service to have even more engaged conversations on their smartphones," the BlackBerry spokeswoman told the Journal. "People are also becoming leery of how they share their personal information and mobile communication services need to be built for that. They are also looking for a simple, customizable interface and BBM brings that."

BBM's Expansion

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would reportedly spin out as BBM Inc. The company has invested plenty in its popular messaging service. In fact, long before there was iMessage there was BBM. Hardcore BlackBerry users relied on the service to communicate with other BlackBerry users all over the world, bypassing text messaging fees.

As an exclusive BlackBerry service, BBM boasted more than 60 million monthly active users and more than 51 million daily active users who were connecting with friends or colleagues an average of one and a half hours every day. The problem was, it only worked BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry.

In May, the company announced plans to roll out BBM to multiple platforms. BBM is now available for Apple's iOS and Google's Android devices. The first version of...

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