Getting Started with BBM Channels

How-To

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BBM Channels is a great way to have real conversations with people across the world, whether you’re engaging with others across a variety of BBM Channels or creating your own and connecting with new BBM Channels Contacts. To help you dive in, here’s an overview of a few things you’ll want to know. For example, you can create and manage a BBM Channel using the BBM Channels Manager website.

What is BBM Channels, and how do I get it?

If you aren’t familiar with BBM Channels, it is a new feature that allows you to engage in conversations with other people, brands and communities. For example, I love Formula1, so I joined the Mercedes AMG Petronas BBM Channel to follow insider news from my favorite team. You can also make your own channel and take advantage of several unique features that make connecting with your subscribers really easy.

To get BBM Channels make sure you are using the latest version of BBM available for BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry OS, Android and iPhone.

Find and participate in other BBM Channels

Provided you have the latest version of BBM, discovering new channels to join and participate in couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is open BBM and tap the menu icon in the bottom-left corner followed by selecting Channels. You’ll be shown a collection of featured channels and posts that might interest you, or you can search for other channels.

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Tip: The blue checkmark identifies channels with authoritative content from people, brands and services

When you find a channel that you would like to join, tap on it and use the Preview feature to take a peek at what content can be found inside. If you like what you see, tap Join+ along the bottom of your screen. You can now comment on posts within the channel, chat with the channel owner, and invite your BBM contacts to a channel that you think they might like. To find out more about a channel, such as when the channel owner is available for chats or what the website is, tap on the channel’s display picture.

After joining a channel, you will receive notifications whenever something new is posted or when someone has replied to or liked one of your comments. To view your channel notifications, tap the icon in the bottom-left corner, followed tapping the globe icon along the top of your screen.

Creating a BBM Channel

After joining some channels, create your own so you can share your thoughts, ideas and more. Best of all, creating your own channel is absolutely free and you have complete control of how your subscribers can interact with you by specifying chat hours and restricting comments. You can make one on your device using the steps provided below or by using the BBM Channels Manager website found at http://us.blackberry.com/bbm/bbm-channels.html

Note: Channels that you create are associated with your BlackBerry ID and cannot be transferred to another BlackBerry ID.

How to create a BBM Channel

  1. Open BBM and tap the icon in the bottom-left corner of your screen
  2. Select Channels followed by tapping the 3 dot icon in the bottom-right of your screen
  3. Select Create Channel and provide the following required information:
    • Channel display picture
    • Channel name
    • Channel category
  4. In addition to the required fields, complete the optional fields if desired.
  5. Tap Save

After entering your channel details, make sure you customize your channel settings. To access these settings while viewing a channel you created, tap the 3 dot icon in the bottom-right of your screen and select Channel Settings. You’ll be able to customize the following options:

  • Allow BBM Chats with You – Optionally allow your subscribers to start a BBM chat with you, even if they’re not in your contact list
  • Chat Hours – If Allow BBM Chats with You is enabled, use this option to specify when you are available to chat
  • Allow Comments on Post – Optionally prevent subscribers from leaving comments on posts in your channel
  • Approve Comments – If enabled, comments are allowed but must be approved using the BBM Channels Manager website
  • Show Channel in Search – Optionally prevent others from finding your channel using the search feature
  • Show Channel Activity in Updates – If enabled, updates applicable to this channel will appear in your BBM updates listing

Congratulations, you’ve created a channel! Now all that’s left to do is invite your BBM contacts and share your channel PIN and Barcode. To find your channel PIN and Barcode, just click on your channel’s current display picture.

Managing a BBM Channel

When you create a channel, you have two options when it comes to managing it. You can either use your device or the BBM Channels Manager, which is a browser-based management console.

  • To manage your channel using your device, all you need to do is open your channel. Here you can view your channel stats, reported items and engage in chats with your subscribers.
  • To manage your channel using the BBM Channels Manager, visit http://us.blackberry.com/bbm/bbm-channels.html and sign in using your BlackBerry ID. After logging in, you can start engaging with your subscribers, review your stats, manage pending comments if Approve Comments is enabled, and much more.

For more details on managing a BBM Channel, watch for more posts coming in the near future!

Got a question about BBM Channels? Leave a comment and let us know!

About Ty Williams

Community Content Manager & Blogger @ BlackBerry. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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