MySpace App Shatters BlackBerry Download Record - InformationWeek

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11/24/2008
07:46 PM
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MySpace App Shatters BlackBerry Download Record

In a sign that BlackBerry is gaining traction in the mainstream market, the social messaging app has been downloaded more than 400,000 times in its first week.

The stereotype of BlackBerry users is that they are stodgy, mobile professionals who only care about getting work done. But that image may be changing as Research In Motion said its MySpace app has been downloaded at a faster rate than any app in its history.

RIM and MySpace said the application has been downloaded more than 400,000 times since it was released Nov. 13, breaking both companies' download records. BlackBerry users have sent and received more than 15 million messages via mobile MySpace, the companies said.

"This rapid adoption is a reflection of an evolving consumer lifestyle where social connectivity and information access are more important than ever," said Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-CEO, in a statement. "This powerful new mobile application combines social networking and mobility in a highly personalized and empowering manner and we are very excited to see such a positive response in the first week."

The application optimizes the social networking site for the smartphone, and it features quick access to MySpace mail, friend requests, managing photos, and adding comments to other pages. The program is messaging-centric, and it doesn't allow users to change the HTML of their MySpace page or upload videos.

"This record shows just how much of a force in the mobile consumer space RIM and MySpace have become," said Chris DeWolfe, CEO of MySpace, in a statement.

While RIM became the leading smartphone manufacturer in the United States by dominating the enterprise market, the company has made aggressive moves toward courting the casual or "prosumer" market. The smartphone company has released a slate of devices like the BlackBerry Pearl Flip, Curve, and Storm that are geared toward mainstream audiences.

The MySpace program is just the latest in what Balsillie calls "lifestyle" apps that will be coming to BlackBerry platform. RIM already has deals to bring applications to the smartphone from TiVo, Ticketmaster, Slacker, and others. If RIM's upcoming online application storefront is hoping to replicate the success of Apple's App Store, these lifestyle apps may play a major role.

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