As CEO John Chen had pledged BlackBerry would do, the company on Monday released a secure version of its BBM instant messaging service.

Chats using BBM Protected can be within a company using the secure version of the service or among people at different companies, so long as both are using the service. For now, the secure version of BBM only works with BlackBerry 6 or later, with BlackBerry 10 only supported when devices are used in regulated mode. The company plans to offer versions of BBM Protected for iOS and Android, as well as for BlackBerry 10 devices not in regulated mode.

With its handset business still weak, BlackBerry has been trying to find different ways to make money from BBM, including using the service in emerging markets to send money.

“There isn’t a single monetization model here that needs to ubiquitously work or be forced on things,” said David Proulx, senior director of BBM Business Development, in a March interview.

BlackBerry has launched a trial in Indonesia to use BBM to send money. Proulx said the company plans to expand that this year to other countries.



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