BlackBerry MySpace App Breaks Download Record; Why No LinkedIn for BlackBerry?
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Today, Research In Motion (RIM) announced that the new MySpace for BlackBerry application set first-week app-download-records for both the BlackBerry maker and the social networking giant. The popularity of mobile social networking apps like MySpace for BlackBerry, combined with the fact that the majority of BlackBerry users are businesspeople, begs the question: Why is there no native LinkedIn app for RIM smartphones?
LinkedIn is the most popular business-oriented social networking service, and though there’s an iPhone-specific LinkedIn application, there’s no such option for BlackBerry users. LinkedIn currently offers a mobile-optimized version of its website for any device with a WAP browser, but such options simply aren’t as convenient or functional as platform-specific apps. You often to need login to WAP-optimized sites every time you visit, and they’re not customized and therefore do not take advantage of features unique to mobile operating systems or devices.
Released only one week ago on November 13, people are putting the new MySpace for BlackBerry application to good use already: downloading the app more than 400,000 times during its first week of availability; sending and receiving some 15 million messages; and updating mood/status more than two million times, according to RIM.
I’ve been questioning the lack of a BlackBerry-specific LinkedIn app for some time, and just last week I posed the following question to my Twitter followers:
“Why is there no LinkedIn BlackBerry app?? That makes absolutely no sense. There’s Facebook and MySpace, but no LinkedIn app??”
I received a number of responses, but the one that really caught my eye came from fellow blogger Garrett Smith, who pens the Smith on VoIP blog. Smith’s response was as follows:
“LinkedIn isn’t flashy enough for developer to deal with. Platform developers are going where the $$$ is.”
And for the most part, I think Smith’s answer is dead on; right now, there’s not enough incentive for mobile developers to focus on boring ol’ LinkedIn for BlackBerry with so many, flashier options out there from “cooler” companies and services like Google, Flickr, Yelp, Pandora and so on.
But wait: According to comments on a spring 2008 post on The LinkedIn Blog, the company plans on delivering a native LinkedIn app for BlackBerry.
From Brandon Duncan, LinkedIn director of engineering, in a comment on The LinkedIn Blog:
True, this was posted almost eight months ago, and there’s been no sign that such an app is on the horizon, but at least the good folks at LinkedIn are aware of the demand for such a BlackBerry app.
Duncan et al, please hear our pleas: Give us BlackBerry folk a native LinkedIn app. We’re your most loyal users and you’re treating us like second-class citizens. If you build it, we will download. You’ve got my word on that.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.