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I have noticed, and I’m sure that other BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) users on various mobile devices such as BlackBerry, Android, Apple and Windows devices have noticed too, ads either in BBM channels or feeds as featured placements, sponsored invites and sponsored posts. In March, 2014, it was announced that BlackBerry Limited would start placing ads, as a monetization strategy, but it would be restricted to BBM channels and feeds. This development has brought about mixed reactions because to some BlackBerry Messenger users, the ads can be annoying, while to the advertisers, it is a means by which they can promote their products and services to all BlackBerry Messenger users. Based on the negative reactions gotten from BlackBerry Messenger users, BlackBerry Limited introduced a means by which the ads can be removed, through subscriptions.   BlackBerry Messenger Subscriptions After upgrading to the latest BBM, you’ll see a new section in the BBM Shop: Subscriptions. Subscriptions are additional purchasable BBM features that are based on a recurring fee. There are two subscriptions that will be available at launch: “No Ads” and “Custom PIN”.   How to Remove Blackberry Messenger Ads Advertisements can be removed from your BBM for $0.99 USD per month with the No Ads subscription. This subscription removes all ads from your feed, and you will no longer receive sponsored invites.   How to Have a Custom PIN With a Custom PIN subscription, you can create a PIN that’s easy for you and your friends to remember and/or says something special about you. Custom PINs have to follow certain guidelines: They must be 6-8 characters long, and can include numbers and letters only. Special characters cannot be used and PINs, and PINs are not case sensitive. A Custom PIN subscription costs $1.99 USD per month. BBM users with any active subscription get another little bonus:  a badge on their avatar to show off their premium status.   How to Advertise on BBM in Nigeria For business owners who are interested in advertising on BBM in Nigeria, there is an agency, Mobi Hunter,  that is accredited by BlackBerry Limited as an official agency for BBM in Nigeria. Benefits of Advertising on BBM 1. BBM can be installed on major mobile devices and it is widely used in Nigeria. 2. Sponsored content can be targeted based on age, gender and location and it is strategically displayed at the top of the feeds, to attract users. 3. Performance has been between 6-10% CTR on campaigns run so far – which is excellent value and way above industry standards.   How Blackberry Messenger Ads work 1. Featured Placements BBM Channel owners will have the ability to secure space on the Featured Channels tab to help promote their channel. As this is the landing page for BBM Channels, it is a great place for channel owners to promote their channel to millions of highly engaged and active customers. 2. Sponsored Invites To help BBM Channel owners grow their channels, and help BBM Channel users find relevant, interesting channels, channel owners are now able to invite BBM users to join their channel. By defining certain characteristics like age, location and interests, channel owners can ‘invite’ select BBM users to join their channel. These invites will appear in the invites tab of BBM, clearly marked as sponsored invites. As with invites from contacts, BBM users will have the control to accept the invite from the channel owner (subscribing them to that channel) or decline the invite. If a BBM user declines an invite, he/she will not receive invites from that channel in the future. BBM will control the number of sponsored invites every BBM user will receive. They anticipate that they will limit them to a maximum of three per month. They will also control which brands/businesses are able to utilize Sponsored Invites; they want their ecosystem to be populated with high-value content that their users will find engaging.   3. Sponsored Posts Within the Updates tab in BBM, they will allow BBM Channel owners to place sponsored posts alongside updates from their BBM Contacts and the BBM Channels they are already subscribed to. In the spirit of being open and transparent, these sponsored posts will be clearly labeled. Just as they give BBM users control over their privacy and contact list, they are extending this control to determine which channel owners are able to present sponsored content in their updates feed. For instance, if you’re a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and you are presented with a sponsored update from a competing hockey team, you can easily block future sponsored updates from this other team. The benefit to you, the user is clear: you won’t see sponsored updates from channels you’re not interested in. But the benefit also extends to channel owners as well as they won’t be wasting time and resources reaching uninterested BBM users.   Statistical Information on BBM usage in Nigeria 1. 80% use BBM for personal use while 20% use it for business 2. 70% of BBM users are on a contract with data 3. 31% own their property 4. 55% are male, while 45% are female 5. 55% have shopped online before 6. 28% earn more than NGN 200,000/mth   Cost of Advertising on BBM 1. The BBM ‘Premium’ Sponsored Posts & Invites costs $2,90 CPM (cost per thousand Targeted Ads) or N0.60kobo per user. 2. Minimum booking amount is $1,500.         About the Writer: Emmanuel Oriaifo is the CEO of Contemporary Media Solutions. He is a committed, resourceful and passionate person who loves inspiring people, especially, when facing challenging situations. He aspires to impact peoples’ lives positively. You can contact him via: and    

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This article was first published on 5th May 2015

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