CONFIDENTIAL – Blackberry Messenger will become an instant social network and integrate brands

by bold-lichterman

EXCLUSIVE – The French startup Scroon, which publishes the platform Social Media Management System, an “all-in-one” solution to help brands engage in conversation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Dailymotion, was acquired by BlackBerry. The takeover took place towards the end of April and the beginning of May according to our information. The amount is however still unknown.

BlackBerry Messenger becomes a strategic axis of development

This decision marks a real strategic turning point for the Canadian communications giant. While it had so far underestimated BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), BlackBerry a few weeks ago opened up its instant messaging system to iOS and Android operating systems – generating more than 10 million downloads in 24 hours – in order to to compensate for the loss of users of its service caused by the drop in sales of its terminals (the service then being exclusively available on its smartphones). In addition to this strategic shift, two decisions were taken internally according to our sources familiar with the matter.

As a first step, it would have been decided to make BlackBerry Messenger a real source of income and a strategic axis of development whereas the service was still considered until now as a simple functionality. It is in this context that the multinational indicated at the end of October that video calls, BBM Video, and audio calls, BBM Voice, would soon make their appearances. BlackBerry is preparing, in a second step, to transform BBM into an “instant social network” whose members would retain all the current functionalities but would have, in addition, the possibility of adding brands in their circles of friends. The latter could therefore create what should be called “BBM Channels”.

Scroon will help brands manage their communities on the BBM network

BlackBerry Messenger would therefore become a space for instant discussions with three players: friends, brands and brand “fans”.

It is in this context that the takeover of the French startup Scroon, announced today in the press, takes place. The Canadian company needed to offer brands “turnkey” animation tools to companies wishing to create communities via “BBM Channels”. The French startup indeed helps brands and agencies to manage their communities on social networks thanks to a tool marketed in SaaS (Software as a Service, software as a service, editor’s note).

It already counts Orange, Crédit Agricole and Tag Heuer among its clients, as well as advertising agencies such as the Publicis group or Havas Media. Thanks to its online console, Carrefour offers its customers the opportunity to organize dinners via Facebook and Imagin’R offers promotional offers. BlackBerry Messenger has more than 80 million users worldwide.

[Mise à jour de notre article : BlackBerry rachète le Français Scroon]