Rumours have been circulating recently that the very popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) platform may be heading for iOS and Android devices. However the beta release of the BBM Social Platform this morning will allow only third-party developers to integrate BBM capabilites into their own BlackBerry OS apps.
The move was initially announced at BlackBerry's 2010 Developer Conference last year and has gone into public beta today. What it means is that from today, BlackBerry platform developers can now start adding social Super App features to their applications, “leveraging all the power that the BBM Social Platform has to offer.” It means that third party apps will allow users to update their BBM profiles from within the apps, read other people’s updates, embed BBM chats, initiate file transfers and the ability to share apps virally with friends in their contacts list - among other features.
The beta release includes simulators for both BlackBerry OS 5.0 and 6.0 to allow developers to see exactly how the BBM integration will work. The current release will be for Java developers only, however RIM has said that a second beta drop will be coming next month which will “include full support for the BlackBerry WebWorks platform, ensuring that BlackBerry WebWorks apps have access to all the same APIs and features that Java developers do.”
So while we continue to wait to see if indeed RIM will allow the BBM platform to cross the Android and iOS divides, BlackBerry users can look forward to a lot more BBM integration across a range of apps.