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When the BlackBerry Messenger social platform was announced, I was curious how all of these BBM integrated apps would fit into my personal philosophy. Foursquare, games… no problem. I was comfortable with the amount of information shared with my contacts. Then along came BBM Music.
Now, the way BBM Music works in a nutshell: you install the app on your BlackBerry and add contacts initially via BBM friends that also have the app, or by email, etc. So far, so good. Say you add five friends. Then they each add five friends. Here is where it gets a little trickier. These 25 new people that you may or may not know can now add you to their BBM Music contacts and you can add them. Not only that, their contacts and contact's contacts - well basically a whole slew of people - can add you. The concept is all well and good, because all you're doing is sharing music, right? Accepting add requests in BBM Music doesn't automatically add these new people to your actual BBM list. Once I found that out I felt much more comfortable accepting anyone who wanted to add me.
I have seen some misconceptions about BBM Music, as people assume (maybe because of the name) that when you approve someone's request then you're adding them to be BBM friends. While I'm glad this isn't the case, RIM hasn't exactly made it easy on us anti-social people. From within the BBM Music app, people can send you requests to add them to BBM. Of course, you don't have to accept the requests - I didn't add anyone from the requests I received - but when looking through the options in BBM Music, I couldn't see a way to opt out of getting these requests in the first place. It turned out that the only way to disable the requests was through BBM itself which is all well and good, but not the first place I think most people would have looked.
It may sound mean, but I'm not looking for friends, I just want to check out your music. I know I'm not the only one that feels this way, and I don't feel there is any shame in admitting it. If you feel like I do, you don't have to stay away from BBM Music, at least not for that reason. Yes, it's advertised as making music a "social experience", but you set the level of social interaction based on your comfort level, which puts you in complete control, just like you like it.