MySpace app for BlackBerry: Is RIM getting hip?

At long last MySpace users get a true mobile app on BlackBerry, but it's another part of the partnership that got us wondering.

MySpace BlackBerry page

Article updated 11/13/08 at 11:15 am to include more details.

Two months ago, MySpace and Research In Motion announced a joint effort to create a rich native freeware app for MySpace on BlackBerry phones. On Thursday, RIM made MySpace for BlackBerry globally available. You can also download it from the BlackBerry browser when you point to

Unsurprisingly, the functions and feel of this BlackBerry'd MySpace application have been modeled on RIM's Facebook app for BlackBerry, which has been going strong for about a year.

Navigating from icons at the top of the app, you'll be able to view your home screen, messages, friends, and photos. You can also change your status and mood, manage friend requests, and add comments.

Launching the BlackBerry's camera to take new pictures, caption them, and then update them to your MySpace page is the application's best feature by far and the mobile platform's only real additional contribution.

One thing you should be aware of--you'll only be able to get messages pushed to your phone if the address associated with your MySpace account is the same one you're using on your BlackBerry.
BlackBerry's new MySpace app
A peek at the new MySpace app for BlackBerry. (Credit: RIM)

Although it's a good app for the active MySpace contingent, it's also missing the personal flavor that makes MySpace so beloved to its fans.

The application, however, is only one part of the story. Along with the RIM-and-MySpace love affair comes a community page on MySpace that acts as a full-time ad for BlackBerry users to geek out and soak in the BlackBerry branding. It's an ingenious effort to peddle brand loyalty to the MySpace generation using exclusive wallpapers and product teasers, a discussion board and a list of MySpace 'friends' as bait.

The bubbly, urban new look may not wrest young users away from their iPhones, but it certainly will help blunt the BlackBerry's image as a stuffy business device, without actually driving away business users. Strategic campaigns for the upcoming touch screen Storm phone and the BlackBerry Pearl Flip have a chance at doing the rest if the games, skins, ringtones, and other giveaways prove urban-cool enough.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.