Emtek Shuts Down BBM Per May 31st 2019

As the replacement, BBM Enterprise releases BBMe with subscription concept after free service in the first year

Marsya Nabila - 22 April 2019

Emtek officially announces BBM shutdown per May 31st, 2019. The incapability to increase active users might be the main reason. Emtek team we've reached has not given any information regarding the future of Emtek and Blackberry.

Partnership between Emtek and Blackberry was started in 2016 when Blackberry Limited gave up the BBM Consumer's license to Emtek through Creative Media Works Pte. Ltd (CMW) worth $207.5 million for long term. Emtek intends to develop BBM as super app, like WeChat in China, that becomes the central of consumer's activity for smartphone use.

Less than three years later, BBM for consumer should've ended.

In the official release, Emtek said, "Three years ago, we started a journey to reinvent BBM. [..] Nevertheless, tech industry has always been dynamic. We've tried our best, many users prefer the other platform, while new user is hard to acquire. It's tough and we've got to be stronger."

Based on 2018 financial report, Emtek loss was worth Rp2.62 trillion due to the Rp1.97 trillion cut of CMW's goodwill. Previously, in March, BBM confirms the office shutdown in Canada and Singapore.

Introducing BBMe

Currently, users are being redirected to download BBM Enterprise (BBMe) app in Google Play. The App Store version is to be followed. It'll be available for free in the first year, later, there will be subscription fee of US$2.49 (almost Rp35 thousand).

The concept is similar to BBM, end-to-end encrypted message with enterprise standard.

"We respect Emtek's decision, though, unfortunately the platform didn't work as expected. Through careful consideration, we decided that BBM active users still need a safety and trusted messaging platform," Blackberry's CMO, Mark Wilson said.

He ensures, the team won't monetize user's data, therefore, the service won't require phone number, recommend user contact, and located user.

In terms of feature, BBMe is not as rich as Emtek's BBM. There's no feature for channel, enhanced group, sticker, or shop. BBMe is for those paying attention to data safety and user's privacy. "This service requires email to register, unlike the other app," Wilson said.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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