Apple Goes With Twitter, Not Facebook

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Apple has announced that when iOS 5 releases this fall, it will include deep integration with Twitter, but have nothing for Facebook.  Why would Apple ignore the world’s largest social networking platform in favor of Twitter? 

I can think of two reasons: lack of terms and conflicting strategies.

The first is obvious.  Apple has been in talks with Facebook for most of this year, but so far neither company has made any announcements of headway in terms of ironing out what the two companies want to do together.  A lot of people in the industry aren’t even sure what the talks are for, really, since neither side has said anything beyond the usual corporate-speak of “to synergize..”

The second reason is strategic approach.  The two companies are on opposite sides of the field in that regard.  Facebook is all about the cloud – putting everything out there for everyone else to see.  Apple is about the individual user experience, pulling content into a device in the user’s hands.  In many ways, these two approaches are contradictory.

A good illustration of this is how content is used by a Facebook user and an iPhone user.  A photograph taken by that user and posted on Facebook becomes instantly shared with potentially tens of thousands of Facebook users.  A photo taken on an iPhone becomes sharable, yes, but also can be used to change a background during a specific song being played, added to a sharing app that manipulates photos, pasted as additional content in an augmented reality game, or otherwise used to enhance the iPhone user’s experience in any of thousands of ways – thanks to apps and the device itself.

While these two things aren’t mutually exclusive, their underlying corporate strategic approaches may be.   That is probably why Apple is not integrating Facebook into iOS 5.


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