The latest, greatest version includes a number of updates to the look and feel—mostly for iOS, but also for Android, a new chatbot API, more analytics for our partners, spam reporting, the ability for existing users to add a phone number to their profiles, and more. Keep reading for all the details.
Streamlined Look and Feel
This release includes a number of updates and improvements to streamline the iOS user experience. They include:
- Updated icons for Chats, Contacts, Feeds, Contacts and Discover simplify the main navigation menu
- Discover icon now appears on the main navigation menu
- BBM Channels moved from main navigation to BBM Discover screen
- User profile picture, PIN and other information on your settings is now on the “Me” menu
- Mute conversations by swiping left on items in your chat list—a new feature
- Friend requests now appear on the Contacts tab
- Group chat notifications now include name of group members, as well as group name
Users on both iOS and Android will see a combined view of Groups and multi-person chats, as well as a new Discover menu in list format, instead of as a grid of icons. The new layout will make it easier to see new services as they launch, since we’ll slot them into the list.
And just for Android users, when you update your profile picture, it will show up as a full image in the feeds so people can view the image without clicking to expand.
I’m thrilled to say that this release also includes our anxiously awaited chatbot application programming interface (API). We’re giving BBM channel owners an opportunity to bring their own, interactive software chatbot to BBM that can converse with customers.
This new capability builds on the channel chat feature. Previously, you could chat with the channel owner but only via phone. Now, a human channel representative or a chatbot program can answer the questions received in chat. When people subscribe to the channel, they see the representative, as in the screenshot here.
This is the first of a number of API initiatives that we plan to add, so stay tuned for more news soon.
We think chatbots are going to be the big story in 2017. If you’re a channel owner, now is the time to jump on this exciting technology trend.
Analytics for Partners
We’ve integrated better metrics via Google Analytics to provide our partners with a view into expanded engagement metrics. Partners can now easily track their traffic, including the number of unique users, returning users, how long people are staying on their applications, and more.
BBM now lets you report unwanted friend requests as “spam.” We’ve been hearing from users that they’ve been seeing unwanted friend requests in their BBM. Now there’s an easy way to report those.
Add a Phone Number
Last July, we added a phone number registration feature, making it possible to sign up for a new BBM account with a phone number, instead of an email address, as the main contact. Now, we’ve expanded that, so that existing users, who originally set up their BBM account with an email address, add a phone number to their profiles. Adding a phone number provides additional security and speeds up the process for resetting forgotten passwords. It also makes it easier to find friends. If you add a phone number to your profile, you’ll still be able to sign in using your email or your phone number.
All these new features join the many others we’ve released over the last couple of years in our effort to make BBM the hub of your digital life. And we have even more in the works.