RIM Placing Bets on BBM?

Research In Motion appears to be betting a lot on its Blackberry Messenger Service and even rolling out a new advertisement campaign featuring how it can make your life easier. Anything that positively sets BlackBerrys apart from its competitors in the smartphone market is good news for Research In Motion (RIM). However, will BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) really move units off of shelves?

Thanks to the huge boost that BBM got in the news from how its popularity spiked during the 2010 FIFA World Cup (read here), RIM is focusing in again on its long-offered proprietary messaging service. Websites are surging in how-to guides for the service and some BlackBerry fan sites are even posting all of RIM’s ads promoting BBM for easy consumption. Okay BlackBerry fans, we understand that you love your smartphones, your smartphone company, and all of the things you can do, but what about the rest of us? You cannot talk to us through BBM if we do not decide to own a BlackBerry.

Perhaps this is the biggest problem with RIM’s BBM push. The company simply does not have an answer to Apple’s new FaceTime video conferencing available on the iPhone 4. Sure, BBM is handy, but it is a far cry from video conferencing (albeit only over Wi-Fi at the moment). Does RIM really think that consumers looking to buy a new smartphone are going to be cajoled into think that a proprietary messaging service offers the same excitement as FaceTime does?

BlackBerrys are excellent phones and BBM is an excellent service, however it does not do the company good to make comparisons where there are glaring differences. While FaceTime is proprietary also and requires a brand-new iPhone, it does something that smartphones could not do before. This makes BBM just look bad, even if it does work exception well for most users.

So is BBM the right way for RIM to promote its smartphones?

Use BBM on a regular basis?

Can’t live without it?

Let us know what you think and if you are getting annoyed already over Apple’s emotion tugging FaceTime ads.

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