We have been hearing that BlackBerry has bigger plans for BBM Channels as a monetization source especially once BBM goes cross platform this summer. Now one part of that strategy seems to be emerging in the form of “Sponsored Invites.” BlackBerry did a survey in the Beta Zone asking users what they thought of Sponsored Invites sort of like how Twitter and Facebook allow advertisers in the news stream.
Here is how they describe sponsored invites:
Channel owners will be allowed to advertise their Channels by sending invites to BBM users within the channel owner’s target demographic. Users will receive the invite, and be able to preview the Channel, then choose to subscribe or decline the invitation to subscribe. This will be a limited ad unit, with users never receiving more than 3 sponsored invites in a single month.