BlackBerry’s BBM update includes timed messages and retraction

BlackBerry has just announced the latest update of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service, which promises to give users more control over their privacy.

On Friday, BlackBerry unveiled a slew of new features with BBM, including the option to retract messages. Branded as Retraction, this feature can definitely come in handy for users who have ever sent their messages to the wrong person, or if they just want to get rid of the message they’ve just sent.

There’s also the option to send a Timed Message, a feature allowing users to decide how long their recipients can view a message or picture within a conversation.

While the Retraction and Timed Message features may come in handy, however, BlackBerry has added a disclaimer to them. It notes users won’t have any control over whether their message recipients take screenshots of their messages – so no, messages don’t disappear forever just because we wish they would.

These two features are also only available on a trial basis. For now, they’re both unlimited and free for the next three months, but BlackBerry will be asking its users to subscribe to BBM to get access to them after that period.

The company is also adding a few other bonus features, like a sticker picker to help users add stickers to their chats, HD picture transfer to send high quality images back and forth through BBM, and Discover Music, which shows users what tracks their contacts are listening to through BBM Feeds.

This is yet another play on BlackBerry’s part towards monetizing its messaging service. While it has been trying to appeal to enterprise users who are looking for a secure way to send messages using its service, BBM Protect, it is also trying to see if there are other ways to make money from BBM.

In March, the company said it would be experimenting with mobile payments, as well as allowing marketers to reach consumers through BBM Channels, a service that pushes out sponsored content.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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