With companies of every kind racing to launch mobile applications, what took LinkedIn so long to introduce a BlackBerry app? The social network for professionals this week released an official app for BlackBerry devices that syncs with native email, contacts and calendar features.
It also allows users to search the entire LinkedIn network, browse connections, update information, accept invitations and share messages. At launch, the new app is limited to the Tour, Curve, and Bold devices running Blackberry OS v4.3 or later. But you would've expected an app pairing the business social network with the business mobile phone to have come out last year.
LinkedIn actually announced the new app last November at the BlackBerry Developer conference in San Francisco. In a blog post Monday, Chad Whitney, senior product manager at LinkedIn, explained the company "spent extra time implementing deep integration with BlackBerry Mail, Contacts & Calendar." In that case, LinkedIn probably should've started working on it sooner--Research in Motion's app storefront, BlackBerry App World, launched a year ago.
LinkedIn did launch an iPhone app last year and earlier this month released an updated version. But building an app for the BlackBerry--more firmly established as a business tool than the iPhone--would've seemed like a more logical place to start. There's likely more overlap among LinkedIn members with BlackBerry owners than with iPhone users.
Still, the company promises that "the BlackBerry platform is a top priority for the LinkedIn mobile team, so expect regular enhancements and additions to the application through 2010." Now the question on the minds of LinkedIn users, judging by comments to Whitney's post, is when the company is releasing an app for Android-based phones like the Motorola Droid. Don't worry, LinkedIn should get around to it sooner or later.