BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has tried to assure the public that reports of its death are greatly exaggerated as it attempts to be taken over or go private, while Android, iPhone and BB10 users await the cross-platform release of BBM, or BlackBerry Messenger. Twitter is reportedly mulling a standalone direct-messaging app that would compete with BBM on Android and iOS devices as it prepares for its initial public offering.
Twitter has been testing a setting that allows users to receive and send direct messages without mutually following one another over the past week, and according to a report from AllThingsD the company may release a standalone direct-messaging app, to compete with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and Kik. Instant messaging services have gained worldwide popularity over the past couple years as mobile users attempt to find new ways to connect and avoid text and voice charges from service providers.
The Twitter instant messaging app would compete with BBM for Android and iPhone. A BlackBerry spokesperson told the International Business Times last week that developers continue to work “around the clock” to release BBM for iOS and Android devices, and CMO Frank Boulben told Reuters on Monday that he expects a launch “within days.”
IBTimes offers the top five BBM alternatives for Android and iPhone
Twitter has also been eyeing Snapchat-like features according to the report, and ran a survey that found how popular the time-limited picture message app was for users looking to connect with each other. Twitter underwent a redesign in 2011 where direct messaging was taken from the home menu and placed in a secondary list of options, effectively burying the feature in advance of an eventual phase-out. The microblogging platform is reversing those plans following the popularity of services like BBM and MessageMe, and Twitter executives reportedly met with the former earlier this year.
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BlackBerry is in talks with Cerberus Capital Management about bids to go private, and is also reportedly in talks with Lenovo about a potential takeover. Founders Douglas Fregin and Mihal “Mike” Lazaridis are also shopping the company around to private investors. BlackBerry signed a letter of intent with Fairfax Financial Holdings in September, in a potential takeover that is subject to several conditions, including Fairfax's ability to raise enough capital for the deal.