According to Facebook, yesterday’s WWDC announcement from Apple is “great news for Facebook users and iOS and Mac OS X developers.” But where does that leave marketers?
A look at Facebook integration
After weeks of rumors on deep Facebook integration, on Monday Scott Forstall, Senior Vice President of iPhone Software, shed some light on the new partnership. “We’ve been working very closely with Facebook to make sure we’ve got the best mobile integration of Facebook around,” Forstall said.
Essentially, Facebook will now be a part of native iPhone apps like calendar, contacts, the App Store, iTunes, game center and Siri, allowing for a wide range of new capabilities with a single Facebook sign-on, including:
- Facebook events and friends’ birthdays will now show up in your Apple device’s calendar
- Post locations to Facebook directly from the maps app
- Post photos directly to Facebook from the photos app
- Like and see likes for all iTunes Store content: apps, music, movies, TV shows
- Dictate Facebook posts using Siri (although this sounds a bit dangerous)
- Facebook (and Twitter) notifications will now be included in the notification center
The tech world sensed a bit of tension between the two companies last Fall when iOS integrated with Twitter, leaving Facebook out of the mix. But the relationship seems to be back on track, as Facebook integration is even deeper than Twitter integration.
What it means for marketers
1) More user-generated content
Sharing on the go is now faster and easier than ever, and we know from past experience that iOS integration leads to a huge boost in social activity. More mobile-generated content means more material for sponsored posts, which in turn builds more content (and data) for advertisers.
2) Facebook integration for branded apps
Thanks to a public API for Facebook-Apple integration, third-party developers will be able to easily tack on more creative iterations of social sharing like location specific updates or photo sharing. Adding these elements to branded apps only increases the opportunity for participation and network sharing.
3) Increased proliferation of brand-centric user updates
With the new Facebook integration users will see the most recently shared content from the person they’re about to call or text. So if someone likes a brand or checks in to a restaurant, the chances that those updates will be seen are high, even if the user doesn’t actually fire up Facebook and browse the News Feed.
Apple-Facebook integration appears to be an opportunity for brand marketers to use the functionalities of the iOS platform to increase user engagement. Which elements of the update are you excited to experience, both as a marketer and a consumer?