BlackBerry Messenger was the precursor to iMessage with data based chat. You could receive get read receipts from contacts in addition to higher resolution photos. With that being said it was only for BlackBerry users until 2013 when they expanded to iOS and Android.
Though during the early days of smartphones Blackberry ruled the connected roost. It was an email machine with an easy to use keyboard. Then Google and Apple entered the space. BlackBerry tried to keep up with new operating systems to even fully switching to Android. Applications began to take over giving consumers more options. BlackBerry quickly faded.
That brings us to present day. BlackBerry has announced that the last day for consumer BBM will be May 31st. Their announcement is below for the full details. They thank their loyal customers, partners and employees for the support over the years. Inside they even admit that users have left the platform while being difficult to gain new ones.
I will always have a soft spot for BlackBerry devices, even with my Apple preference. My first BlackBerry was the 8700c followed by the 8820. I took some time off till I came back to the Bold even floated the Z Series on the new OS. After the new applications it was hard to stay on the devices. Seems I was not the only one.
Rest In Peace to another technology mainstay.