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Dibs on BBM

Precious Mncwango's picture

bbm-logoPhoto: Seno drz, Flickr

WhatsAppPhoto: EntreClick, Flickr


So which application do you use the most and why? In this week’s blog we dissect both WhatsApp and BBM with the hope of finding out awesome (and useful) information regarding both applications. I will write of the experience that I’ve had using both apps on my Blackberry curve 8520.

 Firstly, an interesting fact, according the WhatsApp Terms of Service if you’re under 16 you are not permitted to use the service.

Founded in 2009 WhatsApp’s popularity has since been on the rise. The app is free for the first year upon download and thereafter you have to pay for it. The default home screen for WhatsApp is the Chat page. This is followed by these tabs Favourites, All Contacts, Status, Settings and New chat. WhatsApp allows you to exchange texts, images, videos and voice notes to other contacts on your WhatsApp.

One of the most useful features that WhatsApp has is the “Last seen” feature. Unless someone has blocked you, this feature allows you to see the last approximate time that your contacts were on WhatsApp. A great way to see if someone is ignoring you although you should take note that it’s not always accurate. You are also allowed group chats with your contacts.

Another awesome thing about WhatsApp is that you do not have to own a Blackberry to have WhatsApp. WhatsApp is available on iPhones, Android, Blackberries, Nokia smartphones, Symbian and Windows Phones. Unfortunately WhatsApp does not support tablets or Wi-Fi only devices at the moment.

BBM is exclusive to Blackberry devices only. It has very similar features to WhatsApp but has been improving with every new device model. BBM unfortunately (or rather fortunately, depending on how you see it) does not allow you to see when last your contact or you were seen on BBM but it does have the ability to show you whether a person has read your message or not. Sneaky. If I had an option I’d prefer less information to be shared about me on social apps.

BBM now also has the new features of BBM voice chat and video chat. Michael Li who is an App developer has posted a video on Youtube reviewing WhatsApp and BBM on the latest Blackberry Z10.

I personally find that I lean more on the BBM quite often. I find it faster and more efficient but I will not ignore that it is at times problematic as well. I also find it user friendly. It is not cluttered but yet at the same time you can easily navigate your way around without much hassle.

WhatsApp on the on the other hand comes in handy when I want to transfer data or receive data such as music, videos, and voice clips. WhatsApp also allows you to communicate (cheaply) with the friends that don’t own a Blackberry device. But things such as erasing messages takes forever and a day on WhatsApp and sometimes you have to sadly do it more than once and yet on my BBM all I have to do is select Clear chat.

 I find navigating BBM really easy and self- explanatory and perhaps that’s just one of the things that attract me more to it. When it comes to WhatsApp not everything is as self- explanatory. Maybe one day I’ll find the use for all those extra tabs but for now I just find it slightly clustered. I love my apps simple and efficient by allowing me to do what I need to do which a minimum amount of clicks.