BlackBerry Ltd. said in blog post that it is testing sponsored content on its BBM messaging service with some users. A posting on BlackBerry’s website Tuesday by Jeff Gadway, head of product and brand marketing for BBM, said the company is seeing how its BBM Channels feature functions as a way for certain brands and businesses to directly connect with BBM users. Gadway said featured placements, where companies have their own forums indicated in in the “Featured Channels” section of BBM, is one method being tried out. Another is sponsored invitations, where companies can send invitations to users, based on characteristics such as age, location and interests, to join their channels. Also, Gadway said there is some testing of sponsored posts that will appear in users’ “Updates” section. Gadway said in the blog post: “This is not traditional advertising by any stretch of the imagination.” He said no sponsored content would be inserted into private interactions between users, and “protecting user privacy remains a top focus.” BlackBerry’s BBM service, once only available to users of BlackBerry devices, was made available to users of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phones and Nokia Corp.’s X smartphones in February, and last year to users of Apple Inc.’s iPhones and smartphones running on Google Inc.’s Android software. Bringing even more attention to the mobile-messaging industry was a deal announced last month that Facebook Inc. would pay $19 billion US for WhatsApp Inc.