Inside BlackBerry 6: Social Feeds

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We’ve seen a lot of excitement from the community about BlackBerry® 6, and one of the new features I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about is Social Feeds. Since I worked on the Social Feeds app, I thought it would be great to talk about it in more detail with you. Social Feeds is designed to access and interact with your social networks including BlackBerry® Messenger® (BBM™), Facebook®, MySpace® and Twitter®.

When creating the Social Feeds application, we received inspiration from the part of BlackBerry smartphones that every user is likely familiar with – the Messages inbox. The Messages inbox provides a single point of access for all communications – email, texts, BBM, phone, and so on. One of the goals of the Social Feeds application was to create that same ‘BlackBerry inbox’ experience, but with a focus on social communications. As a result, Social Feeds is one single access point to stay on top of – and in touch with – all of your online social networks. Within the app you’ll see all of your friends’ latest Facebook status updates, tweets, BBMs and more (like your favorite RSS feeds).

   

Once you are in the Social Feeds application, your first choice is to decide what you want to view. Using the top navigation bar, you can toggle between the Social and RSS views, or filter down within the Social or RSS view for specific sources (for example, filter by Facebook or Twitter or MySpace items for the Social view, or different RSS feeds in the RSS view). Clicking on a specific social status update will take you directly into that social network’s application on your BlackBerry smartphone, and clicking on a specific RSS post will take you directly to that content via the BlackBerry® Browser.

One of my favorite features in Social Feeds is the ability to quickly and easily update all your social statuses at once. I’ve found it really simplifies managing my overall social presence. With this feature, I can write one update and then post it to as many different networks as I’d like, simply by selecting “New Post” from the Social Feeds menu and choosing which social networks I want to send my update to.

We’ve also worked hard to deeply integrate the communications and information from the Social Feeds app into your BlackBerry Contacts list. Simply by clicking on a contact’s name, you can see all the latest notifications and communications you’ve had with them (note: this feature requires users to allow automatic contact syncing in Facebook, and manual contact syncing for Twitter, MySpace and BlackBerry Messenger).

It’s been really exciting to work on the team creating a new ‘core’ social application for BlackBerry smartphones. One of my favorite things about the Social Feeds project (aside from creating the app!) was that I got to work with a number of different teams across Research In Motion® (RIM) and meet a number of new people – more new friends to check up on using Social Feeds!

Please post a comment and let us know what you think about Social Feeds, and which social networks you use daily. We hope you feel that Social Feeds is as useful for integrating your social networking as the Messages inbox is for integrating your daily communications.

About Sean Hungerford

I’m the head of Product Management for BBM. I lead a team of incredible product managers that work closely with the development and marketing teams to bring the world’s best mobile social networking experience to users on BlackBerry, Android and iPhone. When I’m not busy with BBM you may find me on the tennis court or exploring KW with my Irish R&W Setter named River (for more on him check out my BBM Channel C0024F014 #Shamelessplug).

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