During RIM's annual shareholder conference today, CEO Thorsten Heins briefly confirmed that video chat support will be added to BlackBerry Messenger in the BlackBerry 10 platform debuting early next year. Screen shots from BlackBerry 10 — as leaked last month by CrackBerry — already suggested that video chat would play a prominent role in the company's next-gen communication suite, and now we've confirmed it. There's more, though, and Heins isn't tipping his entire hand; here's the full quote from him on BBM in response to a shareholder's question, which also emphasizes his desire to keep BBM as a BlackBerry exclusive:
With upgrading it into a new experience, think about adding features on BB10 such as video chat, for example, within BBM. There's many other features to come with BB10 that will really level this BBM experience, which is good today, right? It's still the major used social network in Asia Pac, which will upgrade that experience to a whole new social networking experience based on BBM. That's why we want to build on that strength, and that's why we don't want to share that strength. We believe this is something that is very unique to us, that is very strong in our portfolio, and we want to use this to build a BlackBerry-driven social networking platform.
And here's the full audio of the somewhat contentious meeting, running around an hour and a half: