Sorry fans, Blackberry Messenger for Android and iOS died May 31

BlackBerry Key2 LE review
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The BlackBerry Messenger app, better known as BBM, shut down on Android and iOS, nearly six years after it launched to the tune of more than 5 million downloads in its first eight hours. The consumer version of the messaging service will stop operating Friday, May 31, confirmed through the official BBM Twitter account, in an emotional goodbye.

BlackBerry Messenger’s demise was originally announced in April by Emtek, the Indonesia-based conglomerate that took over development in 2016. Emtek attempted to keep the app relevant with modern features, but sadly its efforts couldn’t save it.

“We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date. The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on,” Emtek wrote.

What does this mean for you?

The shutdown applies only to the BBM app for Android and iOS. The BBM service on older BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS devices will still operate as usual. Photos, videos, and other files shared through BlackBerry Messenger are only available for download while the app is operating, so hurry if you still have files to save. Once it shuts down on May 31, the data will no longer be retrievable.

BBM Stickers can’t be exported, but refunds are being offered in some situations, and it’s advised you follow Google Play’s and the Apple App Store’s instructions on how to apply to get your money back. This does not apply to BBMoji. To help people cope with the shutdown, an FAQ has been released with lots of information, including alternatives and web addresses for the BBM Services you may miss.

BBM is dead, long live BBMe

What if you can’t let go? If the thought of migrating to another messaging app is too much, then take a look at BBMe, the business version of BBM. It provides all the same features you love about BBM — end-to-end encryption and secure communications — and is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS. Plus, it will communicate with BB10 and BBOS, too.

BBMe is free for the first year, and then requires a six-month subscription of $2.49. It provides 1-on-1 chats, group chats, expiring images and messages, file and note sharing, and read notifications, all with a simple, easy-to-use interface. The app does face serious competition from Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, plus many other popular apps including WeChat, Line, Telegram, iMessage, and even the direct messaging features in Instagram and Twitter.

If there is one thing we know about BlackBerry fans, however, it’s that they are loyal and dedicated, so BBMe’s availability will be welcome news on this otherwise sad day.

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