In addition to all the great privacy and control features we’ve been talking about over the last couple of weeks, our latest version of BBM also improves the various ways customers can connect with their favorite brands – through advertising, promotions, and special offers for BBM users.
As part of that effort, we’ve entered into several new partnerships to expand our ad sales network and bring region-specific advertising sales expertise to BBM. These new partners are introducing the BBM advertising platform to brands, businesses, advertisers, and advertising networks.
As I discussed in my Open for Business post, we’re monetizing BBM in several ways now that it’s no longer tied to the BlackBerry operating system, and open to iPhone, Android, and Windows devices. Targeted mobile ads and sponsored content are two important parts of that strategy, and we’re seeing this across the social industry.
As one of the largest private mobile social networks, BBM is uniquely positioned to capitalize on a mobile messaging market that is estimated to grow into the multi-billions in the next few years. Our highly engaged customer base has grown to more than 90 million monthly active users around the world, so we have great placements to offer advertisers.
Four New Regional Partners
Recognizing the diversity of global markets, we selected regional partners that already have strong relationships with brands around the world as well as mobile advertising expertise. These partners will represent BBM in markets where we have a strong brand and large, active BBM audiences.
- Blyk will represent BBM globally, with dedicated sales representatives in Chicago, Dubai, London, Singapore, and Toronto.
- Habari Media will represent BBM with dedicated sales representatives in South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana.
BBM Native Ad Formats
Our ad formats provide a great balance for both customers and advertisers. Our mobile ads appear in “Feeds” so that they blend seamlessly with updates from friends, not interfering with the BBM chat experience customers know and love. At the same time, the placements reach a highly engaged, highly targeted audience where they spend time.
BBM will also connect BBM Channel (left) users with brands and businesses (now over 1.1 million channels) they may be interested in following within the Feeds area of BBM.
Within BBM, advertisers can place:
- Sponsored posts, which place content in the user’s BBM feed where they can click to download an app or access more information. Sponsored posts in a social media news feed are the best-performing type of ad unit that exists. Early BBM campaigns have delivered industry-leading click-through rates.
- Sponsored invites, BBM’s most native ad unit, offer brands a dynamic way to reach out to their most loyal customers, as well as to potential customers.
- Sponsored sticker packs, which provide brands a new way of visually communicating their brand message within conversations and linking to products, services, and promotional offers outside of BBM.
- Featured placements, which are the primary way for BBM users to discover new brands to follow in BBM Channels.
Customer Information Stays Secure
To help personalize the BBM advertising experience, our advertising platform uses the information customers provide when they set up their accounts. At no time is personally identifiable information about any BBM user viewable by channel owners or advertisers.
We envision a future where BBM is the platform people use to engage with the mobile ecosystem: chatting with friends, working with colleagues, pursuing hobbies and interests, and taking care of the business of life, including commerce transactions. Precisely targeted advertising, with useful offers from brands we like, can replace the kind of mass advertising that speaks to only a small percentage of the people who see it. Advertisers won’t have to pay for reaching the wrong people, and consumers won’t get bombarded with irrelevant offers. It’s a win-win.