Blackberry has begun rolling out private beta versions of its soon-to-be cross platform BBM app. According to various reports, select users have begun receiving invites to test out the messaging application on iOS and Android. It appears only Beta Zone members and friends and family of employees have been invited at this point. Those who fall into these groups will find the app under Eligible Programs within Blackberry's BetaZone.

"BlackBerry has begun internal testing of BBM on Android and iOS devices. We invited our employees to nominate friends and family to participate in a limited Android beta. Those slots are now full," a Blackberry spokesman told TNW. Screeshots of BBM running on Android didn't take long to surface, as shown below.

The BBM app requires v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on Android and iOS 6 or higher on iPhone. Blackberry has previously stated that it would be releasing the cross platform BBM app before the end of the summer, and judging by the the message in the beta invites, the company will indeed be doing so. In a press release, Blackberry did note that there is still an approval process pending from Apple and Google before the final launch.

Although the move will certainly bring Blackberry technology to more devices, it does put what might be the company's best exclusive app out into the wild, which is something that may not bode well for Blackberry 10 hardware sales. It remains to be seen whether this is the right strategy for the troubled company.