But while Twitter and Facebook became the venues for public protests around public spending cuts it is the affordable BlackBerry handset and its near free BlackBerry Messenger network where group chats take place, which appears to have fuelled these riots. To communicate, BBM users have to exchange their phones’ PINs, making their messages are private, but PINs can be spread by any means – including, of course, Twitter and other social networks – but also via (still non-public) SMS.
In addition, BlackBerrys are high functioning phones but can often cost less than smartphones like Androids or iPhones, which are typically the choice of Twitter users due to the wide range of client applications. And remember, Androids and iPhones don’t run the free BBM network, and no other group messaging app has yet taken hold in the UK. As a result BlackBerrys have become the weapon of choice of Britain’s disaffected youth.” —from How Blackberry, not Twitter, fuelled the fire under London’s riots