BBM may sprout its own roots, branch out as a BlackBerry spinoff

Messaging all the way to independence

Big things are happening at BlackBerry, not least of which is the cross-platform-ization of its 60-million-user strong messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger.

But according to a new Wall Street Journal report, BBM may be on the move in more ways than one.

With the help of "people familiar with the matter," the Journal reported BlackBerry is kicking around the notion of spinning Messenger into a subsidiary.

BBM Inc., as it would be called, would operate with greater independence from the mother-ship TCFKARIM (The Company Formerly Known As RIM, as dubbed by Gareth Beavis).

BBMing into the future

The plan is ostensibly aimed at making BBM a more valuable asset as it moves towards a potential sale. However, the new Inc. would also focus on new services and products.

Extending video chat is one prong of the BBM puzzle, but the report also noted BlackBerry's plans to introduce Channels. The Twitter/Facebook page mash up was announced in May, but it's been stuck in beta since.

The Waterloo-based company is also considering extending BBM to desktops, according to a WSJ source.

BlackBerry Messenger is headed to iOS and Android, as prematurely released user manuals and Samsung teases can attest to. The move to other platforms is likely an attempt to up BBM's value before it's spun off or BlackBerry en masse is sold, chopped up or whatever the special task force looking into "strategic alternatives" decides.

We asked BlackBerry for a response to the Journal's report, but were told that it doesn't comment on speculation or rumors.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.