The BBM Social Platform

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Mobile devices have always been about connecting people. However, many device experiences still continue to be solo experiences. Sure, I can play poker against a computer program, but wouldn’t it be better if I can play poker against my friends? Sure, I can listen to music on my device, but wouldn’t it be better if I can also see what my friends are listening to and sample or preview the song? Isn’t there something that allows me to connect with my friends?

Enter BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™): a place where more than 28 million BlackBerry smartphone users stay connected and share experiences. And shortly, it will become the backbone of a social platform that redefines how people engage and interact across any application on BlackBerry smartphones.

With the BBM Social Platform, developers will be able to tap into their social interactions in BBM to enable real-time, peer-to-peer interactions across their applications. Specifically, developers can leverage the BBM platform to access BBM contacts, user profiles, and groups to build more engaging applications. Furthermore, the BBM APIs will also enable developers to support embedded chats, content sharing, and real-time data sharing between two users of an application. Another key advantage of the BBM Social Platform is the APIs like ‘invite contacts’ or ‘update BBM status’ improve the overall discoverability and virality of your application. And because it’s a BlackBerry smartphone, users’ privacy will not be compromised, nor will the user lose control over their BlackBerry Messenger experience.

Here are a few examples of how our partners plan to leverage the BBM Social Platform:

  • Kobo will be using it to create a shared shopping and reading experience — with users creating book clubs to read together, share passage and chat as they go.
  • Telmap, the leading European provider of mapping, navigation and local search applications will be using it to physically connect friends with each other, sharing locations, their whereabouts and facilitating meetups.
  • ScoreMobile will be using it to allow friends to chat about live sporting events.
  • Kik will be using it to reinvent how people share, discover and experience new music.
  • Magmic will be using it to create a completely social poker experience, inviting friends to join your table, enhancing in-game chat and creating groups for casual play.

The BBM Social Platform will enable a whole new class of mobile applications that leverage the power of BBM social interactions. Start thinking about what BBM can do for you!

About Mike Kirkup

Mike Kirkup is the Director for the Developer Relations program at Research In Motion (RIM), which is responsible for managing the technical relationships and programs for RIM’s developer community worldwide. Mike and his team work with RIM’s developer community to provide support and guidance as developers work to integrate their applications to the BlackBerry platform. Mike joined RIM in 2001 as a Security Software Developer in RIM’s Wireless Security Group. As part of the Wireless Securty group, Mike contributed to the development of the BlackBerry Cryptography API, S/MIME and PGP implementations. Mike holds a Masters of Management Science and a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.

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