RIM's Blackberry Twitter app free for the taking

RIM will release an open beta of its Twitter app for Blackberry on Thursday evening.

BlackBerry-maker RIM's own contribution to the Twitter app party may be arriving unfashionably late, but at least the "official" Twitter client is finally showing up.

On Thursday at 6:00 PM Pacific/9:00 PM Eastern, RIM will release an open beta version of Twitter for BlackBerry. We snagged a preview build back in February that was skimpy compared to fleshed-out third-party Twitter apps like Seesmic and UberTwitter. Whereas those apps integrate more advanced features like Twitter trends and lists, the Twitter for Blackberry preview software we saw could upload photos and support retweets, but stopped short of the other savvy extras.

This new open beta version adds mass to the lean preview we first saw, adding notifications for new tweets and replies to the home screen and Blackberry Message list in addition to pings for direct messages. Creating, viewing, and editing Twitter lists are also now included. So is editing your profile information and mug shot from the app, some minimal visual customization, and some back-end fixes to juice up performance. Twitter trends are still a no-show in this beta version, but by the time the final rolls around, that and other features could also find their way into the finished product.

You'll be able to download RIM's Twitter for BlackBerry from the Test Center in the Blackberry App World app. North American and U.K. users can also give it a go from RIM's BlackBerry Beta Zone.

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.