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RIM adds content rating system to BlackBerry App World

RIM's BlackBerry App World now has content ratings, and users will soon be able to set filters based on them. This move comes days after the creation of a similar CTIA/ESRB industry ratings standard.

BlackBerry App World Ratings
BlackBerry App World Ratings

Taking a page from Apple's App Store and the Android App Market, RIM has created its own content ratings for the BlackBerry App World. As of yesterday, all apps have an automatically-assigned rating between General and Adult, but developers have fifteen days to fill out a questionnaire and update their rating if they'd like. The questionnaire will also be part of the submission process for new apps. In a further update on December 15, BlackBerry users will get the option to filter out apps above a certain rating level. Given the App World's global reach, RIM has promised to work with developers on apps that may fit different rating groups in different countries.

While technically not on the CTIA/ESRB system that Microsoft, AT&T, and others have joined, the App World setup looks quite similar — down to the rating names and questionnaire content. Given that almost all US phone carriers have joined the CTIA/ESRB pact, it's a safe bet that it influenced RIM's decision. However, since neither Apple nor Google signed, RIM's use of an in-house system will make Microsoft the only major app seller to actually implement the supposedly industry-wide standard.