Research In Motion Introduces New Version of BlackBerry Messenger, Focuses on “Social” Aspects of Instant Messaging

by Jordan Richardson on July 29, 2011

With the release of BlackBerry Messenger 6, Research In Motion is hoping to make BlackBerry devices a little more “social.”

The plan with BBM 6 is to generate some publicity and popularity for the company’s fleet of devices, but that probably won’t be easy. RIM is banking on integration to move BBM 6, launching it as an update on July 28. Other apps in RIM’s BlackBerry App World marketplace will also include updates to increase compatibility with the “social” features of BBM 6.

“(BBM 6) represents an incredible opportunity for developers to leverage the viral nature of the BBM service,” Alistair Mitchell, RIM’s vice president of BBM Platform & Integrated Services, said via statement. “And we have already begun working with various developer partners who will be bringing their BBM connected apps to BlackBerry App World.”

BBM 6 includes user features that will allow for chatting between users during the use of applications or games. Lists of applications will be listed on friends’ profiles, too.

RIM is banking on the update to BBM to help it counter Apple’s upcoming iOS 5, an update that packs in the iMessenger chat platform.

The BBM platform currently has roughly 45 million users and the “open” and “social” nature of BBM 6 could open the floodgates for developers. The relatively thin selection in BlackBerry App World – especially by comparison with Google and Apple’s comparable app shops – is a problem that needs to be solved, so hopefully a more integrated BBM will help lead the charge. App developers need a reason to hop on board with RIM, after all, so the Waterloo company is hoping this is the right pitch.

RIM has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons, what with job cuts and problems up top making the rounds. By putting the focus back on innovative products, even if they are only marginally innovative, the company hopes to get back to basics. But it may be a case of too little too late, as it’ll take a lot more than a flashy chat feature to take on its competition.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Al July 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I really don’t see RIM being able to get back in the game. They are way behind the ball, and are either going to be playing catch-up with Apple/Google, or need to re-invent the wheel.

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