RIM updates Blackberry Messenger to provide third-party app integration


RIM updates Blackberry Messenger to provide third-party app integration

Jenny Williams

Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has made Blackberry Messenger (BBM) available to developers to embed within third-party apps in its update to version 6.

Via Blackberry's instant messaging service, BBM version 6, developers can build BBM "connected" apps within third-party applications, providing users in-app access contact lists.

Alistair Mitchell, vice-president for BBM platform and integrated services at RIM, said BBM 6 represents an opportunity for developers to make use of the BBM service within app development, providing a greater social experience for Blackberry smartphone users.

Companies such as Foursquare, Huffington Post and Indience InfoSystems plan to integrate BBM within their apps.

Video: Foursquare demonstrates the use of BBM and RIM's "connected app" within its app for Blackberry devices:

Indience InfoSystems is using the BBM platform to integrate with its SAP workflow app.

"The BBM platform has been smartly integrated to enable employees to collaborate seamlessly," said Srinivasan Subramanian, CEO of Indience InfoSystems. "If the user has some queries while approving the workflow, they can BBM their colleague or manager, transfer a screenshot of the workflow item and clarify. They can then approve or reject the workflow request."

Recent analyst figures show Apple's iPhone and Google's Android OS's gained as RIM lost Blackberry market share over the past three months.

Earlier this week, RIM announced plans to reduce its global workforce by 2,000 people as part of a cost-cutting exercise, putting over 10% of its staff at risk.

Some affected employees will be notified this week, with the remainder being told at "a later date". RIM said its global workforce will total 17,000 after the reductions.

The company said the job cuts are intended to streamline RIM's operations to prepare for future growth.

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