In a recent media briefing, David Proulx, the senior director of BBM Business Development said that BBM voice will be a free feature in the phone with the possibility that a Skype-like model could be adopted.
“The Skype model is one possibility [among others] that we can take in terms of monetization”
“The Skype model is one possibility. There are also other approaches that we can take in terms of monetization,” said Proulx.
The company is also experimenting with ads within the app as a way to monetize.
Proulx added that the company is still investing in the organic elements that allure users, and a large user base is the key to monetization. The executive also said that the goal is to expand BBM to as many end-points as possible.
The company has confirmed plans to expand BBM to Windows Phone in the second quarter of this year, which Proulx again confirmed when he said the company is looking to launch within the next three months. These plans were first made public at Mobile World Congress in February.
BBM isn’t without a massive amount of competition though. The app has a user base of 85 million active users out of the total number of 113 million registered users versus WhatsApp’s 500 million active users and WeChat’s over 300 million active users. But the company says it will be looking to a multi-pronged strategy to drive more value to customers, which includes the recently launched BBM Shop and its stickers other content.
BBM is currently available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.