Is RIM using stealth advertising to promote BlackBerry 10 on Twitter?

BlackBerry 10 keyboard close upResearch in Motion is in the final stages of BlackBerry 10’s preparation, as there’s only a little over six weeks to go until the launch event, and therefore promotional activity is nearing fever pitch. It has done a good job of providing us with snippets of information to keep us interested so far, but what about those who don’t keep up with tech news?

RIM has been hard at work pushing BlackBerry 10 through its social media accounts, particularly on Twitter, where it has been retweeting comments related to the new OS and its charms. But these aren’t just attention seekers saying they can’t wait for it to be released, but those who have a degree of stature in the “real world” and to whom a private demonstration has obviously been given.

The general Research in Motion account isn’t the culprit however, it’s the official BlackBerry UK account. Those being retweeted aren’t tech moguls, but those who BlackBerry probably feels are relatable or trusted individuals. Here are a couple of examples. Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes’ tweeted, “Just had a sneak preview of the new BlackBerry 10…Apple beware!” on December 4 and later expanded on what he was so impressed with, “Camera, predictive keyboard, apps, size and quality of screen, battery life, lack of a rollerball and lots of tricks.” Sounds like an extensive test there, Mr. Holmes.

High praise for BB10

Another news reader, Jamie Shepherd, was retweeted by BlackBerry UK after saying, “Got a preview of the new BlackBerry 10… I’m officially going to lose sleep until that shiny, beautiful thing is mine.” He also told a follower what was so great, “does so many clever things, rewind time in photos etc.” Not the most detailed of explanations. He’s referring to a feature RIM demonstrated during a BlackBerry 10 event earlier this year, where an almost video-like burst mode lets you select the perfect moment in a stills picture. Finally, this morning England cricketer Kevin Pieterson, who has long been associated with BlackBerry, said simply “BlackBerry 10 looks amazing!”

Between these three alone, RIM ensured BlackBerry 10 was mentioned to nearly 1.4 million people, which it then retweeted to around 100,000 of its own followers. It’s all high praise too, and none of the comments are singled out as sponsored endorsements. Research in Motion needs to be careful though, as the Office of Fair Trading in the UK takes a dim view of companies not disclosing whether this type of promotion has been paid for or not, calling it deceptive advertising. The Advertising Standards Agency received many complaints earlier this year when a series of Nike marketing tweets from footballers didn’t include #ad or something similar. They were subsequently deemed to have breached the advertising code. Athletes were also warned to disclose sponsorship on Twitter ahead of the 2012 Olympics too.

If you’re wondering why the U.S. based Research in Motion Twitter account isn’t busily doing the same, it’s because U.S. law on the subject of sponsored tweets is clear – it must include “ad” or “spon” to indicate the tweet has been paid for – while law in the UK is far less clear. So, is RIM using stealth advertising on Twitter in the UK? The fact Pieterson, Shepherd and Holmes all sent their tweets using either Twitter or UberSocial for BlackBerry may tell you all you need to know.


AT&T accused of selling customers’ location data to bounty hunters and stalkers

AT&T was hit with a lawsuit Tuesday accusing it of selling customers’ real-time location data to third parties like credit agencies and bail guarantors, along with bounty hunters and stalkers, without having customer consent. 

St. Paul, Minnesota, is the latest U.S. city to access Verizon's 5G network

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. Its mobile 5G network is now available in select areas of several cities such as Chicago and Denver. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network.

Renders suggest the Huawei Mate 30 Pro may have a special cinematic camera lens

The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro may join the Mate X folding phone as the company's star products for late 2019. This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far.

Worried about how FaceApp is using your photos? Here’s how to delete your data

Are you concerned about your privacy with FaceApp? If so, you might want to delete your data from the app. The app has come under fire for its terms of service and privacy policies that it can use your face photos in any way it wants to. 

A.I. photo filters use neural networks to make photos look like Picassos

Artificial Intelligence apps put a novel spin on social network-style photo filters. Instead of just overlaying an effect, these photo filters use machine learning and neural networks to transform an image into a predetermined style.

Samsung’s latest RAM chips can move data superfast on your next-gen smartphone

Samsung just announced its fastest RAM chips yet, boasting 44 GB/s transfer speeds with LPDDR5 technology on a 10-nm process. These 12-gigabyte monsters are meant to take 5G and A.I. to the next level on your next-gen smartphone.

Amazon Prime Day deals are ending, but you can still get great bargains

Prime Day 2019 has come to an end for Amazon, but that doesn't mean the Prime Day deals are over. With deals from Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon still going on, this massive shopping event is continuing on through the week.

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.

FCC filing reveals impressive specs for luxury Movado Connect 2.0 smartwatch

It's been a while since we saw a smartwatch from luxury watchmaker Movado, but that drought may be over soon. FCC filings for the Movado Connect 2.0 have surfaced, and they paint a picture of a high-spec smartwatch.

T-Mobile wants to give you a free smartphone when you add a line

Did someone say free smartphones? T-Mobile is offering free smartphones from a select range of affordable phones when a new line is opened on its $40 per month per line Magenta tier and above.

Get your game on with the best controllers for Android smartphones

If you're looking to do some serious gaming on an Android device, you're going to need a gamepad. Here are the best controllers for Android games on smartphones and tablets, with rechargeable and wireless options.

The best mobile collage apps, for when a single image or video just won't cut it

Today's collage apps combine images and videos into a crafted presentation complete with fonts, stickers, memes, and other elements that tells a story, instead of relying on a single iconic representation of a place or event.

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.

Here’s every Alexa Built-in phone that can access Amazon’s assistant on the move

If you've got your Amazon Echo, Echo Show, and Fire TV set up, you might want a phone that's just as tied into your Amazon-based A.I. network. Here's every Alexa Built-in smartphone you can buy from Amazon right now.