Research In Motion has opened up a public beta of its BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform, which allows developers to integrate the popular chat service into their applications.
Unusually for a platform-specific chat service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is a big hit, with around 28 million users. Research in Motion (RIM) announced BBM Social Platform in September 2010, promising the ability to integrate much of the BBM functionality into apps.
The platform went into public beta on Wednesday, so Java developers can now access its APIs. Applications built using the APIs will be able to access and update fields in the user's profile; create custom areas within that profile; initiate and embed chats; initiate file transfers; and share applications with friends in the user's contact list.
RIM has also released simulators for BlackBerry OS 5.0 and 6.0, so developers can test their integration of the BBM Social Platform. While only Java developers currently have access to the beta, those using RIM's WebWorks toolkit — which lets developers write apps that will run on both BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook tablet — will get similar access in April, RIM said.
RIM has not yet said when it hopes apps using the BBM Social Platform will go live for BlackBerry users.
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