RIM Opens Up BlackBerry Messenger to Attract App Developers

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According to a new Reuters report, Canada-based Research in Motion (RIM) is planning on opening up its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service to embed in work and play apps.

The goal is not only to attract more app developers, but RIM is hoping that by inserting that popular instant messaging service into games, entertainment and productivity apps, it’ll make the company’s App World more attractive to help curb the once-reigning smartphone’s dwindling market share.

The updated BBM tool is a mere three lines of code, which RIM hopes to run through its servers. RIM believes it won’t be a total fix for the company, but rather a step in the right direction.

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“Is the next BBM alone the answer—certainly not—but taken with other offerings it could create the foundation for an improved experience,” said Alistair Mitchell, RIM’s vice president for the BBM platform and integrated services.

BlackBerry App World currently has just over 25,000 apps in the store; a small amount when held to the Apple App Store’s 500,000 or the Android Market’s 200,000. An estimated 45 million BlackBerry owners actively use BBM, 70% almost daily.

A few companies are already onboard with BBM integration, notably the Huffington Post and Foursquare. According to a recent ComScore report, BlackBerry market share has fallen to third among the major smartphone companies, diving 4% to a 24.7% share of the market. Google’s Android is in first place with 38.1%, with Apple’s iPhone in second at 26.6%.

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[via Reuters]

Chris Gayomali is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @chrigz, on Facebook, or on Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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