Following this past weekend’s delayed launch of BBM service for Android and iOS after a leaked Android app build was discovered to cause problems, the head of the BBM team now admits that the relaunch will be delayed due to multiple factors that are taking more time and resources than expected.
For example, the company is having to completely reinforce the existing BBM infrastructure in order to avoid traffic spikes that can bring down servers, as well as blocking the previous leaked Android application from accessing the service, which was causing its own set of load issues.
Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites. We were aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app. This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways. The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch.
We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone.
The team is now focused on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when we go live with the official BBM for Android app. We are also making sure that the system is reinforced to handle this kind of scenario in the future. While this may sound like a simple task – it’s not. This will take some time and I do not anticipate launching this week.
BlackBerry has yet to give any sort of timeframe for the relaunch for either app, as iOS and even BB10 access to BBM has also been blocked due to the above work. As the further delay for BBM follows Friday’s grim earnings news and job cuts, any anticipation for the apps and service is all but wiped out by the additional delays, especially as there are now a multitude of alternatives to BBM for group messaging.