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BBM blast off! Five million+ downloads for Android and iOS in first 8 hours

Seems like plenty of Android and iOS users are keen to start using BlackBerry Messenger – in its first eight hours of becoming available for the two platforms, it’s already clocked up more than 5 million downloads.

A tweet from BBM’s Twitter account posted Monday night said, “Next 5 million in line – your turn! Open up BBM and click ‘I got the email’ to get started on #BBM right away!”bbm ios

Presumably in a bid to prevent its servers from melting down or blowing up, BlackBerry is taking a little-by-little approach to activating new BBM accounts. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’re asked to enter your email address to hold your place in line. When you get to the front, BlackBerry will send an email to let you know you can start using the free app.

According to BlackBerry’s tweet, five million Android and iDevice owners should be able to find the company’s activation email in their inbox any time now. The fact that the tweet refers to the “next” five million may suggest as many as 10 million downloads have taken place, though we’ll have to wait for more precise figures to find out for sure.

Either way, the rollout appears to be going much more smoothly than last month’s botched effort when it had to call the whole thing off thanks to the unexpected appearance online of an “unreleased version” of the app, which caused all sorts of problems.

In a blog post on Monday shortly before the app went live in the Google Play and iTunes stores, BlackBerry’s Andrew Bocking said a team of developers had been working “around the clock” to sort out BBM for Monday’s launch and assured those waiting patiently for their activation email that BlackBerry is “focused on moving millions of customers through the line as fast as possible.”

For iDevice users, the app runs on the iPhone and cellular-capable iPads, though not on the iPod Touch.

BlackBerry’s BBM rollout comes as the Ontario-based company searches for a buyer, with several parties – including Toronto-based Fairfax Financial, Chinese tech firm Lenovo, and BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis – reportedly taking a serious interest in the mobile maker.