Facebook shocked the markets when it purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion on Wednesday. Now, speculation is rife about the worth of another popular messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, but perhaps the real question is this: Will BlackBerry sell BBM?

Shortly after WhatsApp sold for $19 billion, tech pundits and economists were eager to translate the meaning of the sale into a concrete value. They wanted to understand just how much companies such as Facebook will pay for messaging app services such as BBM. In the case of WhatsApp, with its 450 million monthly active users, Facebook paid $42 per user. Following that logic, BBM, with its 80 million monthly active users would be valued at $3.4 billion. That's no chump change, especially for a struggling company like BlackBerry.

BlackBerry's stocks rose on Thursday based on these rough calculations, jumping 6 percent to $9.52 in premarket trading. Then, a few more level-headed analysts took a broader look at the going price for messaging apps in the past few years. Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um pointed out in a note to clients that Viber sold for just $900 million or $8.57 per user, which would make BBM worth only $686 million. There is a pretty huge discrepancy between those two numbers and that should make analysts and BlackBerry a little bit more cautious about their enthusiastic predictions of BBM's potential value.

If BlackBerry decided to sell BBM, it would be a big risk. The messaging app service could go for a whole lot of money or a mere pittance. Not to mention that fact that if BlackBerry sells BBM, it might as well sell itself because let's face it - BlackBerry doesn't have anything else to offer. Its devices have flopped and actually cost the company more money than they've provided. Its success in enterprise is largely due to BBM. Its only positive venture in the past few years has been BBM. 

BlackBerry's current CEO John Chen recently reasserted the huge importance of BBM to BlackBerry's future. It is very unlikely that he would even consider selling BBM. If BlackBerry didn't sell everything off a few months ago, it wasn't for lack of offers. BlackBerry didn't sell because it believed that it still had a chance to rise again, just in a different way. That way, quite clearly, is BBM.

Recently, BlackBerry expanded BBM to iOS and Android in order to keep its messaging service going as BlackBerry customers continued to switch over to other operating systems. BlackBerry has also added new functionalities like Voice, Channels and more to BBM, to make the app more relevant and competitive. The company is investing in BBM when it is investing in almost nothing else. Still, if BlackBerry wants to make BBM its main source of revenue, it will have to figure out how to make money and keep users engaged. Competition in the messaging app world is tough and BlackBerry isn't the top dog anymore.

BlackBerry's future is uncertain at this point and the success or failure of BBM will ultimately determine if the company sinks or floats. Selling BBM will be the company's last resort if all else fails. Until then, BlackBerry with continue fighting.

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