The Curious Case of Indonesia and The Triumph of BlackBerry Messenger

When we talk about the public diana apps IM, we tend to approach it from the point of view of the spectrum of age, awarding one or another app to a range of ages by probability and statistics that we can access. However, there is also a geographical influence which in some cases is something unexpected, as the case of Indonesia, whose favorite platform is WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, but BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

This country and messaging in fact we talked about (and not long ago), but in relationship to the shock of some Emoji symbols with the tradition and culture of the country. In this case it was the request of its Government to the various services that withdraw those glyphs that aludiesen to a non-heterosexual relationship, which LINE made without opposing any resistance.

A country that, despite this the emoji affair, was just one of which experienced a greater increase of monthly active users (MAU) line according to its last quarterly report. But it is not majority messaging service in Indonesia, the highest place of the podium stands, as we said, BBM. Is it why the particular success of BBM in this country?

Investment of podiums

If we see the forest and not the tree, the BlackBerry platform It is not the apps most commonly used by the world’s population, place that they occupy almost unbeatable way WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and a not inconsiderable Mobile QQ. Speaking of MAU, these are placed on the podium with 1000, 800 and 860 million, being the eighth according to Statista BBM (the graphics are January 2016 and lack update the data of WhatsApp, surpassed the 1,000 at end of this month).

A graph that does not correspond to the Indonesia. As we read in the WSJ, in January the 55 million Mau by BlackBerry app in this country have been reached, in which the majority, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, are behind with 50 million Mau in both cases.

Prioritizing privacy

The reason? The historical assets of the Canadian company’s software: the security and privacy. As we read in the newspaper, numerous companies and professionals prefer the BlackBerry software for the safety of their ecosystem, not something that happens only in Indonesia, but that we also see in Nigeria and South Africa.

Y not only in the workplace. Groups of friends and relatives in the app users are very widespread, and we see cases as of Fredi Ferdianto, which manages up to four accounts of BBM. Three of them are to a labour use (handles sales and imports from China) and one is personal, using terminals BlackBerry and Android (in the case of the staff).

I choose BBM because nearly all the people [know in Indonesia] uses this app before WhatsApp or LINE.

The company obviously is aware of this and also the limits that this ascent has in terms of competition. The vision that was held in this regard is the of combine the chat with e-commerce as they have done previously, other platforms such as WeChat in China where the app is in itself an ecosystem to encompass a range of services (shopping, news, etc.).

If enlargement of services work, the platform comes to settle as a resource on header in the routine of the user

This is very beneficial if it goes well, because in this way the platform comes to settle as a resource’s header in the routine of the user; He turns to it to their social relations, for transfers, as a platform for payment, etc. In fact, expressed almost verbatim BlackCerry Vice President Matthew Talbot, while taking advantage of to qualify its success in Indonesia:

We have seen how WeChat in China is a local leader in the creation of an ecosystem environment to chat. Rather than LINE and KakaoTalk have also managed in Japan and Korea respectively. But none of them has reached our level in Indonesia.

Yes, not so much smartphones software

According to the company, only in Indonesia more than 750,000 channels of the app were created. Channels that covered enlargement of functions that made the company in 2014 is shopping in-app, with stickers, mobile payment and advertising tools (such as these channels). According to BlackBerry, in the country they came to send 1,000 million stickers every month.

But that year was not all good in Indonesia for BlackBerry. As your messaging software grew, their terminals were experiencing a decrease in sales. The manufacturer market share It went from 43% in 2001 to 3% in 2014, according to IDC, below minority local brands as Smartfren.

The drop in sales of terminals had to do with a wrong approach away from the reality of the country by BlackBerry

Data published in The Globe and Mail where he explained the possible reasons for the disenchantment of the Indonesian people with BlackBerry hardware: a wrong approach away from the reality of the country. Something commented Andy Cobham, responsible for managing the operations of BlackBerry in Indonesia, referring to that decisions were being made without taking into account the context.

BlackBerry was a global product, and Waterloo did a good management. They bet not globally, but as a small town.

Determinations as a promotion that offered a 50% discount to the first thousand buyers of a BlackBerry Bold 9790. Local workers warned that this could cause problems and despite that the company went ahead with the promotion, meeting the forecast of employees having finally disturbance.

Another factor of this decline, in failing to take suitable approach, was the fact of focusing on the scope of work leaving in a second level (or lower) consumption. And, in addition, the country nor was it easy to BlackBerry, forcing the company to build a factory in Indonesia. Something that the Canadian company not only refused, but built it in Malaysia, rival country.

The security of the software, a bastion to preserve

All growth is a good thing, and more still when they accumulate months of data that are not so. Of the fall of BlackBerry in terms of its world market share and their numbers we have been talking about for years, and in the video that summarized the progression of eight years of mobile operating systems in one minute already saw the imperceptible that just being the portion corresponding to RIM.

But you can not keep quiet faced the constant threat of rivals. Platforms such as Telegram are example of incorporating new features at a good pace, as well as its growth. In the beginning, in addition, we mentioned that LINE had experienced good growth data of the number of users both in the last quarter last year.

A future in which fits the transition of its terminals to the Android platform software. A software that actually take the House with apps and products of its own brand, but that somehow puts the product outside the House. We will see If BBM takes a step forward to try to be a more complete platform as WeChat or retain the approach that is a simple app for messaging, use which apparently is what dan (and prefer) Indonesian users.