BlackBerry announced a major update to BBM on Thursday. The new update is available now for iPhones and Android devices and can be grabbed through the iTunes App Store or Google Play. It includes a new look, support for a Chatbot API and more.
Part of the UI changes include updates to the icons for various aspects of the app, such as Chats, Contacts and Feeds. BlackBerry Channels has been moved and now sits in the BBM Discover area of the app. You can now mute conversations by swiping left, too. Here’s a look at the full list of changes:
- 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.
The new BBM also includes a chatbot API that will allow developers to bring their chatbots, perhaps some we’ve seen on Facebook Messenger, into BBM. BlackBerry said this is just the beginning of its entrance into chatbots and said they’ll “be the big story in 2017.” Other new features include spam reporting, analytics and support for linking a phone number with BBM accounts.