Platform Services Galore!

Dev Con

Free, paid, ad-supported, try-and-buy, or freemium…whatever your BlackBerry® smartphone app, we’ve got your service. BlackBerry DEVCON 2010 featured three platform services that are sure to make their way into thousands of apps this coming year: Advertising Service, Payment Service, and Analytics Service.

Let’s start with the Advertising Service, which allows you access to a wealth of ad networks and advertisers very simply and easily. How simply and easily? Well, with just three lines of code, you’re plugged into a mediation platform that grants you access to a number of top ad networks, no negotiations required.

Banner bannerAd = new Banner(MY_APID, targettingData);
bannerAd.setMMASize(Banner.MMA_SIZE_AUTO);
add(bannerAd);

Simple as it might look, the Advertising Service has more power than you might think. You have the option of displaying a traditional ad banner or with no additional coding, you can support ads that to do a whole lot more:

  • click to launch BlackBerry App World™ to a given vendor or app download page
  • click to add a calendar or address book entry
  • click to view full screen rich media

So how do you track your success with the BlackBerry Advertising Service? Analysis and control are accessible via a single web console that houses all your data for analytics, tracking, reporting, fill rates, ad performance, and earnings. The central console allows you to easily add or remove ad networks and manage ad allocations without making any changes to your app.

If an ad-supported model doesn’t fit your needs, maybe micro-transactions/in-app payment is more up your alley. The BlackBerry Payment Service will allow you to easily offer digital goods for sale in your app while still providing the consumer with the same trusted and consistent purchase experience they have today in BlackBerry App World. As you would expect, with BlackBerry Payment Service, you will have access to the same payment options that BlackBerry App World supports today for traditional app purchases: PayPal, credit card, and carrier billing.

    

So when might you want to use the BlackBerry Payment Service? Some typical use cases are:

  • Digital Content, such as eBooks, magazines, photos, artwork, or digital property that you can use on a BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Additional App Functionality, which might include things like new features, levels, characters, or games. This use lends itself extremely well to the freemium app model and should be used as the new gold standard for try-and-buy.
  • Services, such as premium video content, subscription renewal, pay-as-you-go application use, or voice transcription. Basically, any kind of digital service that a BlackBerry smartphone user pays to use.

Whether you’re using the BlackBerry Advertising Service, BlackBerry Payment Service, neither or both, the one service that most apps will be clamoring to access is the new BlackBerry Analytics Service, a service to monitor the adoption and effectiveness of your BlackBerry application. Here’s a high-level overview of the BlackBerry Analytics Service’s features:

  • Key app metrics such as when and how often a user opens your app.
  • Information about how much time a user spends in your app.
  • User base stats such as which model of BlackBerry smartphone is being used, which version of software the user has installed, which carrier network the user is on, and which version of your application the user has installed.
  • Flexibility to define your own metrics such as how many users make it to a certain level or actually complete a game, which features of the app are accessed more commonly than others, how and when users access remote data on a server versus leveraging cached content.

The BlackBerry Advertising Service is now live.

The BlackBerry Payment Service SDK is in beta now and the full SDK and app implementation is expected to launch this fall.

The BlackBerry Analytics Service goes into beta this fall and launches in the first half of 2011.

Let us know what you think of these or any other BlackBerry Platform service! http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/platform/

About Brian Z.

Brian joined Research In Motion (RIM) in 2005 working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who specialize in Bluetooth, GPS, multimedia, and gaming. As a senior member of the Developer Relations Team, it's Brian's mandate to not only support the application development efforts for a number of ISVs, but also to act as a voice at RIM for third party application developers. Like RIM, Brian's roots are in the enterprise world, but over the past couple of years he's quickly adapted to the consumer space, and that's where he spends most of his time today.

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