Apple Might Be Hurting Itself 'Friending' Facebook
I agreed with Pendola on his assessments in contrasting the prominent rise of Facebook with the old and slow movements of Google. But iGoogle has not been sitting idly and doing nothing. In fact it has shown it wants a piece of the social media market by having developed Google+. Although it is not yet as popular as either Facebook or Twitter, it is starting to gain some traction as reports recently suggest that at least 200 million people are on the service. While it is significantly down from the 900 million currently on Facebook, it is far from being embarrassing -- a fact that has not escaped Apple.
Apple wants to put an immediate end to Google's progress. In shrewd fashion, first it seeks to cut off Google's mobile traffic by ditching Google maps from future mobile devices. Then it partners with Facebook, Google's #1 rival in social media, and integrates it with the best-selling smartphone and mobile devices on the market. -- essentially "friending" an enemy of my enemy. If that is not clever I don't know what is.
The Trojan Horse?
For Apple, displaying the shrew side of its business was just one aspect of its Facebook integration. The other reason is because more than any other company, Apple is smart.
The company has realized that consumers have developed an addiction to two things: their smartphones and social media. It understands that the technological winner will likely be the company that can be the effective supplier of both of these drug-like fixes.
By adopting Facebook into its operating system, Apple has made it possible for all 900 million users to only need to authenticate once with their Facebook credentials and then be able to post content from within their apps.
Clearly Apple wants to get more on the social scene, but at what cost? The more that I think about it, the more I'm realizing that while Apple might have had this scheme under its sleeve to irk Google, it is also risking hurting itself in the process as it just might have the potential to backfire.
At first glance, this deal is certainly great for Facebook and its users. But the integration works in both directions. For example, if I add an event in my Facebook calendar and have anniversaries or birthdays of friends on Facebook, it will also appear on my iPhone's calendar. It can even popup as a reminder. Even more remarkable is that as friends on Facebook update their contact information, that new change will sync with the contact list on my iPhone.