Facebook and Apple never had a simple relationship, but today they finally got into bed together with the social network being deeply integrated into Apple's new operating system for mobile devices, iOS6.
In a move that should seriously worry Google, the two are teaming up to offer you a more enhanced version of the world's biggest social network from your Apple devices. You will no longer have to fire up an app or the website to share links, photos, locations or other data to Facebook. It is a move that will drive a huge amount of additional actions on Facebook, but it is also something that will make using an Apple device a more enjoyable experience.
It is a classic win-win situation for both companies and not something that Android or any other platform is going to be able to compete with. Let's start off by looking at some of the main features that were announced today and follow that up with some analysis of what this means for social media, marketers and for Facebook in the long run. Developers get to start playing with this immediately and it launches to the general public in the fall.
Simply Sharing Links
So the simple integration is the ability to share links from iOS6 from absolutely anywhere. As you will be constantly logged in, there is no need for awkward switching between apps or copying and pasting. Now it's easier than ever to interact with the world's largest social network, and there's no need to leave your app to do it. Share a photo to Facebook right from Camera or Photos. Post your location right from Maps. Brag about a high score right from Game Center. If you have your hands full, just ask Siri to post for you. You only need to sign in to Facebook once, and you will be off and sharing.
Contacts And Calendars
Never miss another birthday or get-together since Facebook events are integrated into Calendar and your Facebook friends' profile information is integrated into Contacts so when they update an email address or phone number, you automatically stay up-to-date. Forget about having to sync all your different address books together or looking for numbers in various apps, they will all be in the one place; the ultimate winner being Apple as they improve their own product.
Like Apps And Songs
This is possibly the biggest move of the lot as Apple is introducing the like button to iTunes and app store in a move that will help Facebook's own app rating center. Every time somebody likes an app or song, it will get pushed into their Facebook feed driving more discover and revenue for Apple and also help Facebook to generate yet more data on their users and what they like. This is what Apple's failed ping social network should have looked like.
Stretching To Desktop
Although the main focus of the announcements today was on iOS6 and the mobile integration with Facebook, there were also some small, but powerful integrations of Facebook into Apple's main operating systems on desktop.
The new operating system will allow you to post comments, photos and updates from the desktop while also seeing notifications without ever having to visit Facebook itself.
The First Truly Social Operating System?
Facebook is no longer a website where people log in and update their content. It is a platform that has just been integrated into pretty much every part of the most important mobile operating system out there.
What we now have is the world's first truly social operating system and a massive win-win situation for both companies. This will undoubtedly grow users for Facebook (It trebled Twitter's content when they did a smaller integration last year), but more importantly, it will push even more content and data back into Facebook's platform. People won't even know they're using Facebook anymore.
It will just be the default. Apple, on the other hand, is using the best parts of Facebook to provide a much better service to people who buy their phones and tablets. Who wants to be firing up apps, copying and pasting links and reviewing songs on third party sites when you can do it right there and then, with your entire social graph already built and listening. This is going to be a huge step forward for both companies and even though it has taken its time coming, the really exciting thing is that they've just started working together and this is the first step of something much, much bigger.