Research in Motion has confirmed that the BlackBerry developer community now has access to work with the social aspects of the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service. First announced at the BlackBerry DEVCON 2010, the platform now has a user base of over 28 million. With this beta release, Java developers will get access to APIs and features that allow them to build core functions into their applications.
RIM says that developers now have the ability to test the exact workflow and BBM integration that they can expect to see on a live device. This is made possible by special simulators for BlackBerry smartphone OS 5.0 and 6.0. Scheduled for April this year, additional support for the BlackBerry WebWorks platform is planned as well.
The new options now open for implementation are 'user permission based' and include options to access and update fields in a user's profile, the power to create custom areas within a user's profile, and the opportunity to initiate and embed chats with friends, initiating file transfers and sharing applications virally with friends in a contact list.
"With this release, the BBM Social Platform revolutionizes social interactions. The end user's experience can now be extended beyond just messaging/chat to a whole new breed of socially engaging apps including multimedia, gaming, location-based services, VoIP, video, and commerce. What was previously a solitary experience becomes now a social experience. Users gain the ability to discover new apps with friends and share real-time experiences and content with their inner circle. They enjoy the full advantages of the BBM community -- always-on and unparalleled immediacy and responsiveness," said the company on an official RIM BlackBerry blog.