You would think that Blackberry would prioritize a region where they have the highest number of users when releasing or trying out a new feature. But it’s only now that video calling on the BBM app, still in beta mode, is finally available in the Asia Pacific territory. They had their reasons of course, but the important thing now is that users in the region will now be able to do video calls with their loved ones or colleagues through the messaging app.
Blackberry wanted to test out this video calling capability in smaller markets before opening it up to more users, hence the late addition of countries in the Asia Pacific. And now that the service is more stable, they are able to accommodate more traffic. This is actually the final phase in the rollout of the feature in the beta mode, which means we might finally see it go out of beta soon, once any changes have been added or bugs have been removed.
To be able to use BBM Video, you don’t need to sign up for any beta program or even update your app. All you need is a device that’s running on Android Kitkat and above, plus a BBM contact that also has a device running on OS 4.4 and above. Just start a chat session with someone on your contact list (even those that are on iOS 8 and higher) and then tap the video icon on the upper right corner. You will then be given the option to do a voice or video call.
Blackberry says the feedback so far for video calls has been “overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic”. They also said they have more plans coming this summer, which will also include general BBM improvements like phone number registration, message retraction for stickers, files,and other content, plus group chat improvements.