BlackBerry Ltd. unveiled its plan to make money by introducing ads and virtual stickers into BlackBerry Messenger app. Last week, BlackBerry executives visited New York to show off the new native advertising formats on Messenger.
BB’s new virtual goods storefront called BBM Shop has for its first items the enhanced emoticons known as ?stickers? that can be created by brands and which users can purchase and then use in their chat windows. With this, the company is expected to open the doors to a new virtual shop which aims to promote a line of virtual stickers designed by various artists.
“While the “sticker” phenomenon has yet to truly catch on in North America, it’s wildly popular in Asia where it has replaced the emoticon as a primary form of communication online,” Proulx said.
As users shown a willingness to pay for stickers that would allow them to express themselves more, BlackBerry will grab the opportunity to join the trend by selling branded stickers. Among BlackBerry’s partnets for BBM Stickers are World Wrestling Entertainment and the children?s property Shaun the Sheep.
Moreover, according to www.adweek.com, BlackBerry is starting to sell sponsored content on brand channels inside the mobile app. This sponsorship deals will be made through an updated version of its BBM Channels service. Brands like Rolling Stone, Disney and MarketWatch post content to Messenger for subscribers to follow. With the sponsored invites, users will be allowed to follow their favourite companies or download sponsored apps depending on their specific interests.
?It comes with a couple of in built sponsored content opportunities. So there are native formats that allow brands to reach out to that broader universe of BBM folks,? David Proulx, BBM senior director on Adweek said.
Reports from CBC News also said that this “plan delivers on a promise last year when it said BBM, which has grown to more than 85 million since the chat service became available to iPhones and Android devices, would become a money-making business.”
The Messenger app has 85 million users and is available on Apple, Android, Windows and, of course, BlackBerry devices.