BlackBerry Advertising Service launched

There's a trend a-trending in the mobile industry at the moment, and it's to do with getting eyeballs on your advertising. Google knows it, Apple knows it, and it looks like RIM's got wind of it too.

Following Apple's launch of its iAds mobile advertising system - and subsequent investigation by US trade regulators - and Google's purchase of specialist AdMob, it's clear that the big mobile players want to get a piece of the advertising pie of their very own - and BlackBerry creator RIM is no exception.

Accordingly, the company announced the launch of its BlackBerry Advertising Service at this year's DevCon conference. The general idea is to give developers an easy way to monetise their BlackBerry applications - while simultaneously creaming a little off the top for themselves.

Unlike existing mobile advertising platforms, however, RIM's offering goes a stage further - providing deep integration with the BlackBerry platform.

Rather than simply opening a web page, the BlackBerry Advertising Service allows advertisers to trigger advanced functions on the handset - such as adding an entry to the user's address book, or producing a calendar entry to mark an event or product launch.

Rich media is also supported, with adverts being able to trigger the in-built media player to download and play a video or audio file - thankfully only when clicked, rather than when displayed.

There's a lot to recommend the service to developers, too. As well as the usual profit-share programme, the BlackBerry Advertising Platform means that developers only need deal with RIM rather than a raft of advertising providers - and the company claims that its platform can be deployed with just "a few lines of code [and] a few hours of development" thanks to the use of a single SDK.

The BlackBerry Advertising Service is available for registration now, but only time will tell if its advanced features - plus some exciting new hardware - can tempt developers and advertisers away from other, cross-platform mobile advertising systems.