BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) version 6 Launched

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Research In Motion just announced that BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), one of the largest mobile social networks in the world with 35 million users, the launch of BBM version 6 (BBM 6). The new version brings support for “BBM connected” apps which allows users to interact with each other from within apps like games, social and information-based apps.

In a BBM connected game app, users can invite friends to join in, chat with them within the app in real time without leaving the app.

“BBM 6 marks the beginning of an even greater social experience for BlackBerry smartphone users,” said Alistair Mitchell, VP, BBM Platform & Integrated Services at Research In Motion. “It also represents an incredible opportunity for developers to leverage the viral nature of the BBM service and we have already begun working with various developer partners who will be bringing their BBM connected apps to BlackBerry App World this week, offering users highly engaging app experiences.”


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profile with BBM apps

A selection of BBM connected apps are already available on BlackBerry App World.

Some key apps include games like Pocket Ants and Backgammon King, location-based like Foursquare and Telemap, enterprise-level apps like Unvired Workflow for SAP and social apps like Jingu and PowWow.

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[spoiler title=”Show Official Press Release”]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RIM Delivers Revolutionary Social App Experience with BBM 6 

Apps become social experiences once users can interact with their BBM friends

Waterloo, ON – BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger), one of the largest mobile social networks in the world is now enabling a new and revolutionary social experience. Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the availability of BBM version 6 (BBM 6), which provides support for “BBM connected” apps, allowing users to easily interact with each other from within the BBM connected app.

BBM connected apps integrate the popular functionality of the BBM service and offer users the ability to interact with their friends from within the app itself. For example, with a BBM connected game app, users can invite their BBM friends to join them in a game and then chat with one another in real time while the game is being played – without ever leaving the game app. Users can also discover new apps through friends’ profiles and download them from BlackBerry App World.

BBM 6 launches today and a selection of BBM connected apps are already available on BlackBerry App World™.

“BBM 6 marks the beginning of an even greater social experience for BlackBerry smartphone users,” said Alistair Mitchell, VP, BBM Platform & Integrated Services at Research In Motion. “It also represents an incredible opportunity for developers to leverage the viral nature of the BBM service and we have already begun working with various developer partners who will be bringing their BBM connected apps to BlackBerry App World this week, offering users highly engaging app experiences.”

Some of the additional functionality users can expect to see with BBM connected applications include the ability to:

  • Share app experiences with friends – When a user discovers a great new BBM connected app, they can instantly let their friends know about it. Users can simply select a BBM contact directly within the BBM connected app they are using.
  • Have a BBM chat within apps – Users can simply pull up their BBM contact list directly from within the BBM connected app and start chatting.  For example, the functionality can enable everything from enhanced social game play to collaboration through productivity apps.
  • Discover apps through friends – Users can also discover new apps by viewing the list of apps that are posted to a BBM friend’s profile. They can also click on an app within the list, and instantly download it from BlackBerry App World.
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The BBM 6 software will be available later today at www.blackberry.com/blackberrymessenger. A selection of BBM connected apps will also be posted on BlackBerry App World this week, with many more expected over the coming months.

Quotes/Partner Highlights:

“One of the keys to viral game sales is to allow users to easily invite their friends to join them in playing the games they love,” said Keith Pichelman, CEO, Concrete Software. “Integrating BBM into Pocket Ants has allowed the game to do just that.”
 (Concrete Software)

“RIM is a fantastic partner. We’re thrilled to be working with them to provide a better experience to millions of foursquare users around the world by integrating foursquare with BBM,” said Holger Luedorf, VP of Mobile and Partnerships for foursquare.
(Foursquare)

The Huffington Post, a leader in implementing social features to reach and interact with its network of readers and bloggers, integrates the BlackBerry Social Platform to create a place where our users can continue to engage in up-to-the-minute news stories, blogs, and analysis,” said Paul Berry, CTO of the Huffington Post Media Group.   “As a BBM connected app, we make it simple for our readers to easily share and discuss the news. BBM 6 allows The Huffington Post to continue to reach its audience in a new way when they are on the go, and without having to compromise on the quality of their experience.”
(Huffington Post)

“Unvired Workflow for SAP enables approval of SAP workflow requests directly from the BlackBerry smartphone.  Unvired leverages the BlackBerry message list and BBM to provide a familiar BlackBerry user experience,” said Srinivasan Subramanian, CEO, Indience InfoSystems Pvt Ltd. “The BBM platform has been smartly integrated to enable employees to collaborate seamlessly. 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.  The BBM chat can also be emailed to maintain an audit trail.  The BBM integration with Unvired ensures quick turnaround and collaboration between employees, not just for workflow but other usages like checking discounts for a customer, escalating a customer grievance and much more.”
(Indience InfoSystems Pvt Ltd)

“Jingu users are engaging with BlackBerry Messenger in an exciting new way,” said Pankaj Gogia, Founder, Jingu Apps. “With BBM 6, ease of use is greatly enhanced with capabilities like updating your BBM profile picture directly from within the application. Jingu is dedicated to creating social networking applications built on the BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform that leverage the new capabilities of BBM 6 and bring enriched and vastly immersive experiences to end users.”
(Jingu Apps)

“Players have always been able to play Backgammon King against real opponents but playing against your friends took a lot of time and effort,” said Troy Johnson, Director Strategic Initiatives, Magmic. “Your BBM contacts are your friends and BBM 6 is making it incredibly easy to share Backgammon King with them and invite them to play in real-time.  The ease of access to our product, the ease of sharing and the ease of player engagement are each major breakthroughs. Combine those attributes of BBM 6 with Magmics’ industry leading in-game chat design and you have an incredibly entertaining experience. Trash talking your best friend over a game of backgammon has never been easier and more fun. It’s no exaggeration to say, for Backgammon King, BBM 6 is a real game changer.”
(Magmic)

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“PowWow uses BBM 6 integration to enable real time social event coordination,” said Kathryn Lahrs, Founder, Lahrs Apps. “Users are directly invited and notified of events that are created with our application. With PowWow, the latest information is available and BBM chats can quickly be started if any further communication is desired. Through BBM 6 PowWow users can share their location information, which is displayed in BlackBerry Maps. There is also an option to check your contact’s availability directly from their calendars and to create an event with this information; this is a very useful tool in event planning and saves time in the process.”
(PowWow)

“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t immediately react to the ‘chime’ of BBM,” said Margaret Glover-Campbell, VP Marketing & PR of Poynt Corporation. “Being able to leverage BBM 6 to share search results provides a tremendous advantage to our BlackBerry smartphone user base who can now easily and quickly coordinate their social activities. The ability to share the app download directly within BBM is also exciting for us, given the immediacy and viral nature of the platform. From a development perspective, we see tremendous possibilities for future integration around connecting people while they’re on the go.”
(Poynt)

“Following sports is inherently social – fans are extremely passionate, and like to trash talk, comment, and generally share their opinions on whatever they’re watching,” says Dale Fallon, VP Digital Products, Score Media.  “By integrating BBM 6 functionality right into the ScoreMobile experience, we enable our users to enjoy the game with their friends even when they’re not together.  In a nutshell, BBM 6 integration allows sports fans to be social without having to leave the ScoreMobile app.”
(ScoreMedia)

“Telmap, a global location-based services leader, is very focused on serving all users’ needs by constantly enriching and optimizing their on-the-go experiences,” said Motti Kushnir, Telmap Chief Marketing Officer. “The integration between BBM 6 and the Telmap Mobile Location Companion significantly enriches conversations and interactions through BBM with users’ real-time locations. Telmap views this integration as an important pillar of our vision to provide a richer, more comprehensive experience to our users. We work hard to integrate our application with popular and useful platforms like BBM, to ensure added value to users who can now add location information to their interactions with friends.”
(Telemap)

“BBM 6 is the underlying mobile social network making Wikitude on the BlackBerry platform a very unique experience. An augmented reality (AR) browser with millions of interesting places is already a very compelling and new proposition, but bringing it to life with millions of people who can chat, meet and share in an AR environment has the potential to revolutionize how we interact with one another. With BBM 6 and Wikitude preloaded on upcoming BlackBerry smartphones our AR browser will be truly going social for the very first time,” says Andy Gstoll, CMO of Wikitude.
(Wikitude)

Opportunities for BBM App Developers 
BBM app developers can submit their applications to the BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge. The competition for social apps – “Most Addictive Social apps using BBM Social Platform” – is now open for submissions until September 23, 2011. For more information please visit: www.blackberrypartnersfund.com/challenge.

More BBM connected apps ideas will be showcased at the BBM Apps Hackathon in New York City, August 11-12, 2011, where developers that won the Hackathon qualifying contest will gather for a two day coding marathon. Additional information about the winners and the Hackathon are available at:

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