RIM BlackBerry Syncs Up With Facebook

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RIM's Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones, enables fast, streamlined mobile access to the Facebook social utility using a BlackBerry smartphone, RIM said in a statement.

Mike Lazaridis, RIM's founder, joined Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook, to demonstrate the Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones application at the CTIA Wireless I.T.Entertainment show in San Francisco. T-Mobile USA has been selected to be the first carrier to provide the new software application to its customers.

"Facebook is one of the fastest growing Web destinations among BlackBerry smartphone users and it has become an important element in the evolving fabric of personal communications," Lazaridis said in a statement. "Facebook and RIM share a vision for enhanced mobile communications and social networking based on open, standards-based platforms and this has allowed us to produce a rich mobile application for Facebook users that leverages the push-based architecture, multimedia features and usability of the BlackBerry solution."

With the Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones application, Facebook users can wirelessly send and view messages, photos, pokes and Wall posts. The application goes beyond browser-based access, automatically pushing notifications to the user's BlackBerry smartphone, RIM said.

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The sync up between Facebook and BlackBerry is just the latest in a dizzying number of events in recent days as the Web 2.0 Summit and the CTIA Wireless I.T.Entertainment show, both in San Francisco, seem to have acted as catalysts for new media technology development. For example, Microsoft announced this week it was buying a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook for about $240 million as social networking takes on ever new forms.

"Facebook is the hottest thing on the Internet right now," said Barry Parr, media analyst with the technology market research company JupiterResearch. "One of the things Facebook does pretty well is keeping up with what your friends and your network is doing. The idea that you can use a mobile device like BlackBerry to keep track of what the people in your network are doing is pretty cool."

Despite its popularity, the value of social networking technologies for enterprise organizations is not yet clear, although new communications mechanisms are evolving in companies.

"In big organizations, you get multiple networks set up, and managing these networks can be a challenge," Parr said. "The people organizing these networks can learn a bit from Facebook. And now having access to mobile updates can be important in the long run."