Why Indonesian Still Loyal With BBM?

Indonesian consumers behavior especially in digital is very unique, sometime it is just totally different with other markets. It is the  basic when you make your digital strategy. One of the uniqueness is, Indonesian still fall in love with BBM, even when BlackBerry (BB) almost disappear here. They still install BBM in Android or iOS. The world may be dominated by WhatsApp and FB Messenger, but Indonesia is different playground.

Also read this: Why Indonesian Love Path?

You can check the most recent survey about messenger usage in 2016 by JakPat, BBM still the winner ahead of WhatsApp and Line Apps.


Then this is the breakdown, usage by age range.


The question is why Indonesian still love BBM? Below my analysis based on my research and observation:

BBM is a messenger that light compare to most of other apps

If you compare with another chat apps that popular in Indonesia such as Line, this app is quite light with a lot of feature. You must understand, mostly Indonesian use android phone, and the biggest chunk is low end android phone. It means they cannot support a heavy apps. The other reason, internet connection in Indonesia is not all 4G, some still use 2G or 3G so BBM is the best choice.

BBM Has Social Media Features

Indonesian are a social consumers, they love to share their feeling, what they listen, photos etc. BBM user experience is the best for both chatting and share updates. I can see up to now the behavior of my friend in BBM, they still update photos, status, or even music they listen. BBM also has news stream that’s important for the audience to catch up with the latest news update. Since you know digital generation, not a typical frequent visitors of news portal. They just consume the news from their streamline.

BBM has a lot of users since it’s the first messenger that subtitute SMS in Indonesia

BBM has a very massive adoption in Indonesia back to many years ago, when people can only texting trough SMS, that’s more costly. Indonesian people are very chatty, and love to talk each others. BBM give the opportunity for them to chat in a more cheaper way, and unlimited. It also lock the community and the audience in this platform. Some people very loyal to this platform especially the older generation because their friend use this apps also.

Chat apps  is reciprocal, they stay there because their friend still use it, and there is no strong reasons to move on. Most of them , they don’t ask phone number just exchange BBM Pin to connect and engage.

BBM means social status and prestige for the late adopter 

Mostly people in the secondary cities still using BBM, beside the internet connection slower, the other reasons they think use BB and BBM give them privilege and social status, because they just can afford BB many years after BB come to Indonesia. When the innovators and early adopters already move on from BB to Iphone or high end Android phone such as Samsung Galaxy series. This late adopters consumers, still perceive use BB and BBM is part of their pride. So even when they have to switch to android phone, they still loyal with their BBM.

Also read this: 4 Reasons Why Indonesian Are “Social” Online Shoppers

Are you agree with this? Any other opinion? Let’s discuss.


Tuhu Nugraha Dewanto

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Upnormals Pingfans

Digital Strategy Expert & Trainer

Penulis Buku Best Seller “WWW.HM Defining Your Digital Strategy”

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