BBM Channels download exits beta, available to all BlackBerry owners

BBM Channels
BBM Channels surfing

BlackBerry's BBM instant messaging service is becoming a little more social today thanks to the launch of its Twitter-like BBM Channels feature.

This update is available to all smartphone owners still wielding a BlackBerry after having been in beta since its debut in May, according to dedicated BlackBerry blog CrackBerry.

After downloading the newest version of BBM, Channels will give users the ability to follow and subscribe to other people or business' channels. Users can also set up and post to their own BBM Channels.

It effectively connects users to brands, proving that BlackBerry's messaging service is moving beyond peer-to-peer and group chats.

It's also a great way for BlackBerry to monetize its fledgling BBM service to businesses that want to market with targeted ads to BlackBerry users.

Coming to Android, iOS soon

As the company formerly known as RIM is getting its house in order by reshuffling its executive team, it's continuing to show interest in expanding its platform beyond BlackBerry devices.

To that end, BBM Channels is supposed to be "coming soon" to iOS and Android chatters.

Apple and Google hardware owners received a BBM app last month, and it was well-received with 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours.

BBM iPhone owners were particularly energized about the BBM app, which is set to expand with BBM Voice and Video within months.

BBM Channels alone may not be enough to right BlackBerry's ship, but it could make BBM an attractive spinoff in the future.

Matt Swider