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Smartphone maker BlackBerry will introduce free voice calls on its instant messenger app over next month through an update which will also allow users to surf and create BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) channels, share content and geographical location on the go.
The Canadian company that had launched BBM voice for BB 10 users last year, will make the free calling feature available across Android, iPhone and BlackBerry OS 5 upwards smartphones. Around 100 million people worldwide use BBM across OS platforms.
The smartphone maker that has lost significant market share in India, from 5% to 0.5% in a year since September 2012, is looking at monetising BBM and BBM channels globally and locally.
BBM Channel is an extended version of the messenger where users can upload content and subscribe to public (free) and private (paid) channels of other users, which may include companies or individuals. Channel owners can post messages, share pictures, start discussions, post animated images and chat directly with subscribers.
The social media platform which was launched in November, a month after BBM was made available across platforms, has over 250,000 channels globally.