Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yesterday the Seesmic team blindsided RIM with news that they would no longer develop Seesmic for Blackberry.  They were very public about it, and the only explanation offered was they would “discontinue support for Blackberry in order to focus development efforts on our most popular mobile platforms: Android, iOS, and Windows 7.”  The press seized on this statement as evidence that developers are abandoning the Blackberry platform.

Frankly, it’s lazy reporting.  Here’s why:

  1. RIM devices ship with a Twitter client built in already.  And it’s actually a pretty good client.  Personally, I wasn’t even aware that Seesmic was available for Blackberry, as I have never even bothered to search for another Twitter client for my Torch.
  2. On the basis of reviews written in Blackberry App World, Seesmic is a distant third in the universe of Blackberry Twitter clients.  RIM’s own client has over 14,000 reviews.  UberSocial, which is a feature rich location aware Twitter client, has over 4,000 reviews.  And Seesmic?  A whopping 518 reviews.

In other words, perhaps 3% of Blackberry Twitter users preferred Seesmic over other Twitter solutions for Blackberry.

It’s pretty clear that Seesmic is having their ass handed to them by their competitors. As Blackberry Cool points out, there are millions of Blackberry’s in use around the world.  The fact that Seesmic cannot build a business on this platform is a reflection on Seesmic’s business model, and Seesmic’s application, not the viability of Blackberry as a development platform.

Seesmic CEO Loic le Meur owes the RIM team an apology, in my opinion.  Seesmic is a failure on Blackberry, but he has chosen to let RIM take the blame.  That’s just cowardly.

And my friends in the press?  You put your own spin on Seesmic’s statements, and became a virtual lynch mob.  You were either stupid, or willing dupes – neither is pretty.  Shame on you.

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