BBM v6.1 (Beta) is here: Personalized, Customized, and Animated Avatars


BBM v6.1

Hey everyone! Sonia’s back with a great new beta app update to a particular #TeamBlackBerry favorite…read on for all the details! – Ed.

Great news #TeamBlackBerry! The beta version of BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) v6.1 is available for download from BlackBerry® Beta Zone — now you’ll have even more ways to personalize your messages – and add a little fun – including animated avatars, fun new emoticons, customized colored chat bubbles, increased character count for personal messages and display picture integration.

We’re glad to share that many of these new personalization features were added due to popular request from our BBM community and beta testers.

Let’s take a look at these new BBM features in more detail.

Smiling BBM avatar Laughing BBM avatar In Love BBM avatar

Animated avatars – We’ve added a new dimension to the options on your BBM display picture – animated avatars! These avatars use controlled animation, which means that motion is activated when you scroll over the avatar. Three animated avatars are available as part of this beta as a sneak peek (including a “smile,” “laughter” and “in love”). We’re planning to add a larger selection of animated avatars after the beta trial is completed. You can access these avatars when changing your display picture within the Avatars folder. (Note: Animated avatars are only supported on BlackBerry® smartphone OS 5.0 and higher.)

BBM emoticons

12 new emoticons – A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. With the addition of 12 fun emoticons in your BBM catalog, there are now more ways for you to express yourself and personalize messages to your friends. These new emoticons were created based on suggestions from customers participating in beta trials – look for more to come in future releases. And please make sure to leave us a comment and let us know what other emoticons you’d like to see. We’re listening!

Increased character count for personal messages – Whether it’s keeping your contacts posted on your whereabouts or sharing your mood for the day, you can now say more in your regular updates to your BBM friends. We’ve more than doubled the size of your personal message space to 160 characters, so that you can now share your trials and tribulations in much greater detail.

Colored chat bubbles – BBM users can now customize the color of chat bubbles for contacts. With 10 colors to choose from, you can pre-assign colors to your contacts by simply going into your BBM contacts’ profile and selecting a desired contact chat color. This feature is great for organizing the many BBM contacts you have and makes it easier to recognize types of conversations (I’m assigning colors to work, friends, and family. My boss is blue, my family is yellow, and colleagues and friends will get their own color-coding, too.)

BBM v6.1

Camera/Display Picture Integration – Now you’ll be able to snap a picture and display it right away! There are now fewer steps between taking that great picture with your BlackBerry smartphone and making it your BBM Display Picture. Now you can update your BBM avatar right from the BlackBerry smartphone camera app by selecting “Set as BBM Display Picture” from the menu options.

Check out all of these fun new features for the beta version of BBM v6.1 by downloading it from BlackBerry Beta Zone today. Don’t forget to leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

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