Most people who know me know that I love to connect with others — whether it’s meeting new people or keeping my existing connections strong. After seeing Brian’s Five Tip Friday – Five Tips for Unleashing the Power of BlackBerry® Messenger and Ty’s Five Tip Friday – Social Networking Tips for BlackBerry® smartphones blog posts, I decided I had to share my own five BlackBerry Messenger (BBM™) tips for those that love to network as much as I do.
Here are some features you may not know about or may not use. I love them because they let me get even more out of BBM!
1. Connect your connections with Multiperson Chat
This is my absolute favorite feature in BlackBerry Messenger! Multiperson Chat allows you to start a BBM chat with several of your BBM contacts. What I love about Multiperson Chat is:
- The people in your chat do not have to be contacts with each other. As long as they are all on your BBM contact list, they can chat with each other in a Multiperson Chat that you start.
- A Multiperson Chat is temporary, and you can select only the people who need to be a part of that particular conversation.
- You or any other participant in the chat can leave the conversation at any time and the remaining participants can still continue the conversation.
I often use Multiperson Chat when I want to introduce my contacts to each other or have a targeted conversation with a group of experts I know.
To start a Multiperson Chat:
1. Press the Menu key and select “New Multi-person Chat”
2. Select your BBM contacts for the chat, then press OK
2. Use Contact Categories to Organize Your BBM Contacts
When my BBM contact list started to really grow, I found that I needed a way to organize the list. Using Contact Categories was an easy way to manage my list, as I could create categories like “Work”, “Personal”, “Family” and “Conferences”.
To create a new Contact Category:
1. Press the Menu Key and select “New Contact Category”
2. Type in your category, then press OK
3. If there are contacts you want to add, you can select them now and press OK
Once you have one or more Contact Categories created, you can add any new contacts to a category when you invite them to BBM or accept their BBM invitation.
3. Use Broadcast Messages Instead of Personal Messages
Most of the people in my BBM contact list leverage the Personal Message field in their BBM profile to provide their contacts with regular status updates. For when you want to target a specific group within your contact list, Broadcast Messages could be another option.
By using Broadcast Messages, you can send a BBM message to either everyone in a Contact Category, or hand-pick your recipients. To send a Broadcast Message:
1. Press the Menu Key and select “New Broadcast Message”
2. Type your message in the Message field
3. Then either:
- Select the contacts you want to receive the message; or
- Select your desired Contact Category and select “Select All”
4. Press Send
Your message will be sent to your selected contacts and show as a Broadcast Message in a new or existing chat.
4. Invite a contact using NFC (Near Field Communication)
If you and your contact have an NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone such as the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900/9930 smartphone, you can use NFC to add each other to your BBM Contact List. This is a great new way to connect, in addition to our existing options such as a using email address, PIN, or scanning a barcode.
To add a contact using NFC:
1. Ensure both BlackBerry smartphones are NFC enabled and have the NFC connection turned on.
2. In BBM, press Menu and select “Invite to BBM”
3. Select “Invite using BlackBerry Tag”
4. Hold the backs of the BlackBerry smartphones together
And with that, you have added a new BBM contact using NFC technology!
5. Back up your BBM Contact List
Last but not least, make sure your BBM Contact List is backed up! You can create a remote backup or local backup onto your BlackBerry smartphone or SD card. This will ensure you can always restore your BBM contact list, including when switching devices.
To back up your BBM Contact List:
1. Press the Menu key
2. Select Options
3. Press “Backup”
- To back up your Contact List remotely, select “Back up files remotely”. Select any email address on your BlackBerry smartphone when prompted and the backup will complete automatically.
- To back up your Contact List on your BlackBerry smartphone, select “Back up files locally”, press “Back Up Now” and select your file destination followed by pressing “Save”.
So what do you think? Leave your favorite networking tips for BBM in the comments!