Social networking tends to be a big part of a person’s life, especially if they’ve built a connection between friends, acquaintances and family members through the Internet. There are different ways to get this done, but obviously Facebook’s name comes to mind for most anyone talking about social networking. We’ve already seen the company tied to a device with a dedicated button, thanks to the HTC ChaCha, or better known as the HTC Status. Is social networking something that can lift a company out of the darkness? Specifically, if Research In Motion were to focus on social networking, would things turn around?
Research In Motion’s presence in the mobile market is a strenuous one, and many people believe that the company may not be around for much longer – at least, not in the same capacity as it is now. There’s been plenty of discussion about what RIM could do to put the BlackBerry name back into the limelight, so here’s another avenue the company could possibly take. While social networking is huge in of itself, the ability to have it tied into our mobile phones is a key element for some folks. It’s also something that the phone manufacturers take very seriously, as integrating services like Twitter or Facebook is a nice bullet point for the features list.
But can a company like Research In Motion, which over the years has been primarily focused on the business market, make a pretty drastic switch to the social networking side of things, and actually prosper? There’s no doubt that RIM needs to make some changes in plenty of different categories, but integrating networks like the aforementioned may equal some changes to their phones as well. Releasing a device like the BlackBerry Bold Touch, but with a heavy twist in the software (BlackBerry 7) towards social network, may bring more potential customers to the plate.
After all, integrating social networking doesn’t just provide a new experience for the user (which it does), but it also opens doors to a whole new market for Research In Motion. No longer will it be about the business user, or someone who just wants a killer physical keyboard. By applying these new services and features into the OS, teenagers and other users who would primarily go for other smartphones will take a second look at a BlackBerry.
The reason I’m asking all this, is because according to RIM’s BlackBerry Facebook page, they’ve got something “new, shiny and social all over” coming down the pipe here shortly. As in, the page is apparently unveiling more details regarding this new “something” today. While “new and shiny” are great words by themselves, it’s the “social all over” that piqued my interest. It’s a strategy that I’ve been wondering about for the makers of BlackBerry for quite some time now, and I’m wondering if the higher-ups at the Waterloo-based company have begun to change their outlook to incorporate a wider audience for their handsets.
Then again, it could just be a play on words, and the new “something” could be nothing to do with actual social networking at all. The truth is I think RIM should really try just about anything at this point to try and switch the discussion regarding the company’s future. It’s a bleak one, and that’s no good at all.
Do you think RIM could do well by adding a little bit of social networking to their game plan? Or should the company focus on other aspects of their business plan? Let me know in the comments below what you think.