LinkedIn (Finally) Gives BlackBerry Some TLC: New App Supports BB7; Streamlines Messaging, Adds Job Changes, Profile Views; BB10 App Coming Next Year

Last week LinkedIn unveiled major updates to LinkedIn profiles — giving them a Facebook-style makeover. It’s now turned its attention to its BlackBerry app — currently only holding a two star rating on BlackBerry App World — with speed improvements and a much needed update to boost functionality. LinkedIn also confirmed to TechCrunch it will launch a BlackBerry 10 app next year.

The new BlackBerry app is available for BB6 and BB7 and includes several new features and functions — including the ability to view job changes and new connections in your network, shared posts in the news stream and the day’s top news from LinkedIn Today. The last time LinkedIn updated the BlackBerry app was back in 2010.

The new BlackBerry app is also now available in eight new languages: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Indonesian, Hindi, and Portuguese.

Here’s a screenshot of the app’s Top Stories and recent updates view

The Inbox has also been improved, allowing BlackBerry users to view and respond to invitations and messages in the same place

Users can now review their profile, see who’s viewed their profile and share updates — as well as browsing through their connections and adding people to their network

All of which sounds like pretty basic functionality — so it’s rather surprising it’s taken LinkedIn so long to furnish BlackBerry users with such key site functions, especially as BlackBerrys are still likely to be a very relevant demographic for a professional social network (albeit a declining demographic versus Android and iOS users). The company put out major updates to its Android and iOS apps back in August 2011 — reorganizing those apps around four main areas: Updates, Inbox, your profile, and groups. Its new BlackBerry app has been realigned on almost the same lines: Updates, Inbox, You, and Networks.

We’ve reached out to LinkedIn to ask why it’s taken so long to update its BlackBerry app versus Android and iOS and will update with any response. Update: LinkedIn provided the following statement on its app strategy: “We recently revamped our mobile platform in order for the team to scale and build great experiences across multi devices. We started that effort on iOS and Android and have now updated our Blackberry app. We will continue to invest in the platforms our members are using and will be introducing a new Blackberry 10 app next year.

The new BlackBerry app appears to be going down well with users. Here’s a sample of user reviews posted so far

Very easy to navigate. Can now access everything I need from my BB. Awesome job LinkedIn!

1000 times better than the old excuse of an app!! Relevant information that I actually care about and want access to.

Version 2.0 actually makes LinkedIn something I use. Nice job to whoever worked on the upgrade

Really solid update. Much needed improvements.