I am really happy BlackBerry is trying to get ahead of the story of them monetizing BBM with ads. We told you this was coming earlier but BlackBerry had not gone on the record. Now Jeff Gadway has taken to the Inside BlackBerry blog to explain the new development. First of all I am really happy he started off by stating that “BBM Chats are Untouchable.” He went on to detail the three ways BlackBerry is testing out placing ads in BBM. He stresses that these are going to be branding opportunities and not the annoying ads you see in Angry Birds. He highlights them as “premier opportunities” and BlackBerry will be “very strict about the amount of content that would ever be allowed to be pushed.”
Here are the descriptions of the new ad placements:
1. Featured Placements
BBM Channel owners will have the ability to secure space on the Featured Channels tab to help promote their channel. As this is the landing page for BBM Channels, it is a great place for channel owners to promote their channel to millions of highly engaged and active customers.
2. Sponsored Invites
To help BBM Channel owners grow their channels, and help BBM Channels users find relevant, interesting channels, we’re offering channel owners the ability to invite BBM users to join their channel.
By defining certain characteristics like age, location and interests, channel owners can ‘invite’ select BBM users to join their channel. These invites will appear in the invites tab of BBM, clearly marked as sponsored invites. As with invites from contacts, BBM users will have the control to accept the invite from the channel owner (subscribing them to that channel) or decline the invite.
If a BBM user declines an invite they will not receive invites from that channel in the future. BBM will be tightly controlling the number of sponsored invites a given BBM user will receive. We anticipate that we will limit these to a maximum of three per month. We will also control which brands/businesses are able to utilize Sponsored Invites; we want our ecosystem to be populated with high-value content that our users will find engaging.
3. Sponsored Posts
Within the Updates tab in BBM, we will allow BBM Channel owners to place sponsored posts alongside updates from your BBM Contacts and the BBM Channels you are already subscribed to. In the spirit of being open and transparent, these sponsored posts will be clearly labeled.
Its nice to see BlackBerry has a long term plan for BBM that is slowly rolling out. Hopefully they get ads right out the gate since this could really burn them if done incorrectly.