BBM Channels is an exciting new feature currently available in beta. BBM Channels takes BBM to the next level by extending the BBM experience to brands, artists, businesses and communities.  You will now be able to connect with individuals and groups in real time, stay up to date on your favorite things, receive timely updates and participate by commenting on, liking and sharing posts,  or choose to express yourself and create a channel of your own – and create, edit & publish in an instant.

BBM Channel owners are always going to be on lookout for new content to share. This is where your application can participate. Your application can invoke BBM Channels and provide an image or text for an owner to post to their channel. Using the invocation framework also gets your application one step closer to being a Built for BlackBerry app. Let’s take a look at how this works.

The share framework is supported by utilizing the invocation action ID of “bb.action.SHARE”. The good news is that if you are already using that action in your application, BBM Channels can automatically become a target for text and images.  Let’s take a look at an InvokeActionItem that can be used to post text to a BBM Channel.

The code sample above introduces a new invoke target ID of “sys.bbm.channels.sharehandler”. Combined with the “bb.action.SHARE”, it allows you to target BBM Channels explicitly.  The mime type of “text/plain” indicates we’re sharing plain text and the text is specified in the data parameter. Once triggered, this brings up the channel picker for the user to select a channel they own. After they pick a channel they’re taken to the compose screen with the text pre-populated. Here is what it’ll look like to the user.

TITLE_IMAGE

Sharing an image is done in a very similar fashion.  The difference to sharing text is the mime type and setting the path to the image in the uri.

This also brings up the channel picker for the user to select a channel they own. After they pick a channel they’re taken to the screen to customize the image before posting as shown below.

share2

As you can see with just a few lines of code your application can be made ready to share content over BBM Channels. Add it to your application today to prepare for the release of BBM Channels.  And don’t forget to create a BBM Channel to promote your own application. It’s a great way to highlight features of your application, gather feedback from users and promote special events.

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Sharing with BBM Channels