The long-awaited Blackberry Messenger (BBM) app for iOS and Android was rolled-out on Monday with Blackberry reporting 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours of it going live.

Prior to the launch, Blackberry had described demand as “amazing” with about six million people having signed up for updates at

The app, which was initially planned for September but was delayed following the release of a leaked version, is being rolled-out gradually to deal with the demand, with users waiting in line, having downloaded the app, before gaining full access.

BBM goes head-to-head with cross-platform mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp, which now boasts 350 million active users, a figure that could have been more easily achievable for Blackberry had it released the app two years ago when sales of its devices were higher.

Nevertheless, Blackberry has seen the launch as a success and has big plans for BBM. “This has been an incredible launch for BBM across Android and iPhone devices,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, BBM at BlackBerry. “The mobile messaging market is full of opportunity for BBM. We intend to be the leading private social network for everyone who needs the immediate communication and collaboration of instant messaging combined with the privacy, control and reliability delivered through BBM.”

BBM allows users to share text, images and videos in real-time. Users can chat to individuals or in groups of up to 30 people. The app was borne out of the native BBM functionality that was built into Blackberry devices and was a major selling point. Blackberry will hope that its launch, coupled with the launch of Blackberry 10 devices back in January will begin to revive the company’s fortunes.

Source: Blackberry blogs