Blackberry Messenger to launch on Android and iOS this weekend

Blackberry has been struggling and has been struggling for some time. In a bid to help the situation Blackberry have announced that their once popular messaging service, Blackberry Messenger, will be available to download for Android users on Saturday and iOS users on Sunday. made a predication that Blackberry would at some point separate its social messaging app from its smartphone in 2011. However, Blackberry have been teasing with the idea since May and made BBM available on selected Android smartphones in a pilot program in Africa last month.

On Wednesday the company announced that the download will be available for free from the Google Play store for any device running Android 4.0. This will be followed by a staggered global rollout of BBM for iPhones on Sunday.

Blackberry messenger will support one-to-one and group chat, file sharing, voice notes, broadcast messages, personal profiles and status updates. These are exactly the same options already available on WhatsApp, a popular messenger service available on iOS and Android.

BBM Video and Voice calling are also planned for the Android and iOS apps at a later date. However, there is the application Viber, which allows users to ring and message one another, for free, over 3G or Wi-Fi. Furthermore, Skype and Facetime apps allow for video calling.

The saving grace for BBM is that there is no app, so far, which incorporates messaging, video calling and phone calls in one app.

Blackberry is hoping to regain some ground by making BBM available on numerous platforms yet sales of its own handsets continue to disappoint and have detracted from Blackberry’s status as a leader in the smartphone market.