The “Requesting Chat” is just one of many requests that are somewhat unnecessary.
When the BBM Social Platform launched it promised to leverage the BBM platform to help developers enhance their apps as well as enhance the BBM experience. To do this, the BBM Social APIs offer developers the ability to access and updates BBM profiles, create custom areas in the activity feed, initiate chats and file transfers, share apps virally and initiate app-to-app background communication. All of this is great but after having played around with several BBM-integrated apps, we’re starting to see a very obvious problem that RIM needs to address with this platform: it’s too paranoid.
The major issue with the BBM Social APIs is that they’re far too restricted at the moment. You’re required to request a chat with anyone you interact with and backing out of a chat ends it. Also, setting up the app requires a lot of permissions and verification with BBM, all of which seems a little extreme. Consider the fact that an app developer can write an app that reads your contacts and sends an email to everyone in your Address Book without even asking for you to accept permissions. The BBM Social APIs should be on par with the standard of permissions set by apps and not something outrageously paranoid.
It seems as though the BBM team got a little paranoid when deciding how to implement the BBM Social Platform. Perhaps it has something to do with the nature of BBM, where users have been known to send chain letters and spam through the system. Considering developers are the ones implementing and RIM has done an incredible job so far of keeping App World malware-free, the BBM team should have been far more ballsy when it comes to the implementation of the BBM APIs. To fix this, RIM should let chats be initiated without requests, forget about the verification process and generally make things for more seamless. Developers aren’t going to truly benefit from all this until the end user actually has a fun time with it.