Just over a year ago (June 7th 2011 to be exact), whilst working for our sister agency Five by Five, I wrote a post about the then just announced Twitter integration into Apple’s iOS 5. In it I spoke about the very apparent absence of Facebook and speculated what it might mean for Twitter. The past 12 months have seen no end to the speculation surrounding Facebook and Apple and whether or not they would be able to figure a way forward with their differences of opinion around privacy. We know however that both Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs shared a mutual admiration so there was a certain inevitability over when the two tech giants would come together.
“You know we talk about social networks in the plural but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there. It’s just Facebook–they’re dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out. For wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.” – Steve Jobs, excerpt from the autobiography by Walter Issacson
Last night (11th June 2012) at WWDC 2012, Apple announced the integration of Facebook in iOS 6 and their iTunes eco system alongside further integration of Twitter and Facebook into Mountain Lion, the next version of OSX. They also gave an indication at just how successful the integration of Twitter into iOS 5 has been:
- Users of iOS devices who use Twitter tripled
- Around 10 billion tweets have been composed on iOS devices
- 47% of photos on Twitter originate from iOS devices
These are some staggering figures and considering how many iOS devices that are in use around the globe, and the number of Facebook users, we can certainly expect some even more impressive numbers at next year’s WWDC event.
“Ever since Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spoke the words “stay tuned” when it came to Facebook, we knew something pretty big was about to happen. Since integrating Twitter into its mobile OS, the calls for a similar partnership with Facebook have been extremely loud.” – Drew Olanoff, The Next Web
The Facebook integration into iOS 6 and Mountain Lion goes even further than that of Twitter. Here is a list of what we will see when the software is rolled out this Autumn:
- Share photos, websites and locations direct to Facebook
- Compose Facebook posts
- Calendar integration with Facebook events
- Contacts integration with Facebook friends
- Like music, movies, TV shows and apps directly in iTunes
- See which items within iTunes your friends have liked
- Single sign on and authorisation
- Game Center integration
“The social network also ties in with Siri for sharing status updates, as well as with your Mac within OS X’s “Mail, Contacts, and Calendars” screen for syncing with iCal and your Address Book. Integration with OS X will only come when iOS 6 launches in the fall.” – Ellis Hamburger, The Verge
This incredible deep integration shows just how close the two companies have become and is also a warning shot across the bows of Google HQ. Have no doubt that Facebook will be getting data with which it can then better target ads when people visit their main site. Apple will also see more referral traffic from Facebook into their iTunes store. As of yet we haven’t seen anything about frictionless sharing from iTunes in the same way that Netflix and Spotify do, however this could well be something that pops up when this is all launched around September of this year.
“With iOS 6 getting drenched with Facebook, it seem more likely that this could be the start of stronger ties between Cook and Zuckerberg’s companies, which could serve to beat back their mutual competitor Google. Facebook is now the favored social network for Apple, as it’s present everywhere Twitter is in iOS and OS X, but with contact syncing as an exclusive integration.” – Josh Constine, TechCrunch
The irony of course is that there is no way for Facebook to serve ads from within iOS or OSX meaning if users get in the habit of only using the integration to share information they’ll be spending less time on the social network itself. Also there is now a more urgent reason for Facebook to find a way to monetise its mobile offering, whether through ads or another as yet unforeseen possibility. There will be an even bigger spike in mobile Facebook users when this all goes live.
It also means that any Facebook mobile device that Mark and his team may be working on will have to be shelved in the immediate future, unless they want to annoy the team at Apple in the same way that Google did. But why worry when you are baked so deep into the world’s most beloved mobile device?
All in all this has been a very big day for both Apple and Facebook. Here’s to another 12 months of exciting announcements.
If you are interested in watching the Apple WWDC keynote in full follow this link.