As we reported the other day, BlackBerry appeared to be testing a beta for their BBM Android app that would introduce ads into the messaging service. Based on the description, it sounded like the ads weren’t intrusive as they would appear as Channel Updates.
This is versus more intrusive ads found in free games and apps where banners might appear at the top of the app or have a full popup ad display every now and then. The good news is that if you were worried that this could happen, you can rest assured as Jeff Gadway of BlackBerry posted on the BlackBerry blog detailing how BBM’s ads will work.
Gadway started off by saying that “BBM chats are untouchable”, thus reassuring users that their chats will remain ad-free. “First, let me be clear. We will not be inserting sponsored content of any kind in to BBM chats with your friends, family and colleagues. We understand that keeping the BBM chat experience you know and love free of this type of content is important to you.”
He later adds, “Instead, we are taking a very measured and deliberate approach to connecting BBM Channels users with content they might be interested in from BBM Channel owners, which will include brands and businesses.”
How ads in BBM will work sounds a bit like how Facebook helps certain companies promote their pages. In BBM’s case, this will come in the form of featured placements, where companies can secure space on the Featured Channels tab to help promote their channel since it will be the first thing that BBM users will see.
There will also be sponsored invites, where Channel owners can help target BBM users whom they think will like their Channel to join them. These invites will appear in the Invites tab of BBM and will be clearly marked as sponsored, so don’t worry if you think you’re being spammed.
Lastly there will be sponsored posts where the posts will appear alongside other updates from your BBM contacts and other Channels you might have joined. Once again, BlackBerry will be clearly marking them as sponsored so as not to confuse users. Like we said these ads don’t sound too intrusive, but from a company looking to market themselves on BBM, is it enough coverage?