What the Apple and Facebook integration means
Facebook has taken a big bite of the internet with its close to nine hundred million user base, and recent developments seem to show that the social media network is nibbling into Apple as well. This is because Apple recently announced that Facebook will be deeply integrated into the new iOS 6 and it seems that these two giants are getting quite cozy. Rumours had swarmed the industry that these two companies were making serious union plans, but now finally, the bed is made and these two are showing each other some love.
Apple is already integrated with Twitter
In the past year, Apple had integrated Twitter into its iOS 5 and some had speculated that there were deep-rooted tensions between Apple and Facebook. In December, Facebook released statistics which indicated that it had close to 900 million users and that more than 50% of its users accessed it through their mobile devices. With such huge numbers, Apple just had to send a friend request and luckily, Facebook accepted.
The new integration means that iPhone users who are Facebook fans will have an easier time enjoying their two favourite things. There will be no more persistent login into Facebook, especially when the user goes from one app to another. What this means is that the path to Apple and Facebook is now a one way street, or better yet, a corridor, and there are no doors leading in and out of the social network. iPhone users will now be able to post on to Facebook without re-login, and they will be able to use Apple apps with Facebook easily.
Integration with native iOS apps
Facebook will be deeply integrated in iPhone applications such as the calendar. Therefore, Facebook events and even friend’s birthdays will automatically show on Apple’s calendar. Also Facebook users will be able to use the maps app on Apple to directly post their location at a particular time. They will also be able to use the photo app to upload pictures directly on to Facebook. Furthermore, they will be able to see what their friends have liked on iTunes as well as which apps on the app store their Facebook friends like or use.
Facebook and Siri link up
There will also be integration between Facebook and Siri and the user will be able to dictate these posts using Apple’s Siri. The notifications from Facebook will be included in the iPhone’s notification center. With such intimacy going on between these two strange bedfellows, some have wondered whether Twitter has been kicked out of the room. However, Apple has announced that Twitter and iOS are still friends but that Facebook will be more deeply integrated into the mobile phone devices.
Privacy Concerns? I don’t believe so.
Some analysts have wondered what this new-found love will mean for both iOS and Facebook. Some have argued that there will be a lot of privacy issues as these two companies are on opposite ends of the divide on this issue. Apple is big on protecting the privacy of its users and it zealously guards users’ content. Facebook on the other hand is all about sharing and it only leaves the decision on who actually gets to see what has been shared to the user. Analysts have therefore concluded that Apple kissing up to Facebook could leave an awful taste in the mouths of Apple users and this could hurt its business significantly. These two companies will have to develop policies that help to create a balance so that both iOS users and Facebook users will be happy.
Over-sharing? No – sharing is not automatic.
Other analysts have argued that the integration could hurt Facebook because people will forget that they are sharing. iPhone users will forget that they are logged on to Facebook and this could lead to over-sharing of information. However, if they do not remember that they are actually on Facebook, they will not take part in other Facebook activities such as liking, sharing or commenting. Therefore, it will be similar to millions of people shouting through their iPhones and nobody actually listening. In the end, the social media networks that are part of this integration will be affected.
Overall this will be a positive update and further strengthen the Facebook/ Apple relationship
However, there are several analysts who are optimistic about this union as they say that a marriage between two powerhouses can only result in good things. Only time will tell whether this merger will be well received by users and whether their honeymoon and union will last.