RIM announces Facebook app for BlackBerry PlayBook

Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry PlayBook will get a dedicated Facebook app later this month.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Research In Motion (RIM) today announced Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook (and video chat) at BlackBerry World 2011 in Orlando. RIM promises that the app, which will be available on BlackBerry App World later this month, will give access to Facebook's popular features in a way that is optimized for the PlayBook's 7" multitouch display.

Here's what RIM is promising to deliver for the first version of Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook:

  • View and add Friends – users can find friends by scanning the new grid view of their profile pictures, search for and add new friends and manage new friend requests, browse their profiles, photos and videos, view and interact with wall posts, view key information on profiles and pages, as well as view, comment, and Like photos on profiles and pages.
  • Enjoy seamless photo and video viewing – users can upload photos from the BlackBerry PlayBook Picture Library, tag friends in photos, view comments, tags, and Likes. The BlackBerry PlayBook can also be connected to an HD TV to display photos and videos at a whole new level in full 1080p HD.
  • Connect with friends using Facebook Chat – on the BlackBerry PlayBook screen, users can enjoy side-by-side viewing of online contacts and active conversations. Notifications of new Chat messages are displayed on the Notifications Bar, so users can quickly and easily read and respond to new Chat messages while browsing friends' profiles, viewing their pictures, or reading their status updates.
  • View and interact with the News Feed – users will be able to browse highlights such as photo uploads and status updates and seamlessly view links in the BlackBerry PlayBook browser. They will also be able to comment and Like friends' content, as well as publish a status update or upload a photo from the status publisher accessible from their Profile or from within the News Feed.

"There are over 30 million users of our Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones app who are staying in touch with their social network while on the go," Tom Goguen, VP, Collaboration and Social Networking at Research In Motion, said in a statement. "Now with Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook we can also offer customers highly engaging social experiences optimized for the PlayBook including the ability to share Facebook pictures and videos with friends and family on an HDTV."

RIM has beaten Facebook to the punch by announcing a dedicated tablet app for the social network. Facebook develops the mobile apps for iOS and Android, but RIM makes Facebook for BlackBerry.

Right now it looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook will get a Facebook app before the iPad, the iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Acer Iconia Tab, and all the other hundreds of tablets coming out this year. Here's what I'm wondering: do tablet users want a Facebook app or would they rather just use the Facebook website?

Disclaimer: I am currently an employee of Research in Motion (RIM). The postings and opinions on this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent RIM's positions, strategies, or opinions.

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