Research in Motion has announced that the BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform is now available as a public beta - meaning that Java developers can now integrate the popular communication platform into their apps.

BlackBerry Messenger is incredibly popular with teenagers, who often choose BlackBerry devices over iPhones and Android handsets because of the inclusion of the platform, and the move to open up the APIs will be a big bonus for developers wanting to tap into the BBM ecosystem.

The change in policy from RIM means that we could be seeing BlackBerry apps that give BBM users the option to update their profiles, initiate chat sessions, ping media to their buddies and share files, all without having to leave the apps.

With the BlackBerry PlayBook nearly upon us, this is a great opportunity for developers to design some killer apps for the new device, especially if they can get BBM aspects linked into video watching apps, or even games.

It could also be the making of the BlackBerry App World, which has struggled to attract interest from some of the major app developers.

At the moment it's only Java developers who can get involved, but more developers will be able to get on board with the BBM Social Platform from April with full support for the BlackBerry WebWorks platform.

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