THE END OF AN ERA: BlackBerry

BlackBerry is ending its Messenger service Friday after failing to turn around the long-struggling product.

The company introduced Messenger, also known as BBM, in 2005, one of the first instant messaging services. At the time, Blackberry held a dominant position in the market for smartphones. But over time it failed to compete with other rival products, such as iPhones and Android phones or social media platforms that offered their own messaging tools.

The company had first announced its plans to shutter the service in April.

“We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date,” Blackberry said in an announcement at the time. “The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on.

“Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on,” the statement added.

The BlackBerry Messenger service is being removed from iPhone and Android devices. But it will be remain on the company’s on phones as a business or enterprise version.

“Since 2016 we have tried our best to compete in this market and launch many new features and content that we had hoped would grow the BBM user base. Despite all of our efforts, we found that the network effect of the market leaders is getting stronger and we have been squeezed out of user preferences,” the company said in a FAQ page about the tool’s removal.

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