BlackBerry bets on BBM with Windows, Nokia deal
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry has launched its messaging service on the Windows Phone and brand new Nokia X handset in an attempt to battle its way back into the telecoms market.
Shares rose over 4 percent in pre-market trading on Monday following news of the deal.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will be available on the two phones in the "coming months" and will be free to download, the Toronto-based firm announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
"BBM continues to grow in popularity as millions of people use our mobile platform for chatting and connecting with friends or colleagues, and we are very excited that we will soon welcome Windows Phone and Nokia X users to the BBM community," John Sims, president of Global Enterprise Solutions at BlackBerry, said in a press release.
(Read more: OMG—Is this the end for texting?)
'Not a silver bullet'
The move follows BlackBerry's decision to launch the app on Apple's iOS and all Android phones as it attempts to revive its fortunes.
BlackBerry has struggled to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple in the smartphone market, and both its market value and share price have suffered as a result.
Since 2008, its value has fallen from more than $80 billion to around $4.8 billion currently and its stock has plummeted over 90 percent.
While last year, Android and iOS accounted for 93.8 percent of all smartphone shipments - a 6.1 percent increase from the year before – as Blackberry saw a staggering 40.9 percent decline.
Jack Kent, mobile analyst at IHS, said the introduction of BBM on other platforms was unlikely to revive the company's fortunes.
"Windows Phone - compared with iOS and Android - has a low install base, so the launch of BBM isn't going to massively change their position. It is not a silver bullet. But being on a wide range of platforms is a must and Windows Phone is certainly growing," Kent told CNBC in a phone interview.
"But this doesn't fundamentally change the dynamics of the messaging market."
Blackberry's messaging system, however, remains popular with a user base of more than 80 million. It lags behind competitors, however, with WhatsApp saying at the Mobile World Congress on Monday that it has 465 million users.
(Read more: Blackberry to be profitable by 2016: CEO Chen)
Facebook bought WhatsApp last week for $19 billion, highlighting the popularity of instant messaging apps and their potential worth.
Sam Gee, senior technology and media analyst at Mintel, told CNBC that BlackBerry's strategy was about boosting its user base to give its messaging platform a higher value.
"They have suffered a massive consumer abandonment from the platform. Their success in the future is predicated on a big take up of their services and software in much the same way WhatsApp was valued by Facebook," he said in a phone interview.
—By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal: Follow him on Twitter