Facebook has hired Chris Weeldreyer, an Apple veteran who was the UI designer for iWeb and Numbers. Mr. Weeldreyer worked at Apple from November of 2003 to February of 2012, and his Facebook profile now lists his occupation as “Product Design Manager at Facebook.”
Chris Weeldreyer (from his public Facebook profile)
Mr. Weeldreyer started his new gig at the social networking giant in June, and a four month gap between his departure from Apple and employment by Facebook suggests that this wasn’t necessarily a poaching acquisition, but then it doesn’t rule it out, either. Time off between gigs is often part of the deal when high tech companies poach from one another.
Relations between Facebook and Apple haven’t always been that cordial, but the two companies have seemingly grown closer in recent months.
To wit: when Apple designed its first effort at social networking, Ping, it did so with Facebook integration using Facebook’s API. Before it was launched, however, Facebook pulled Apple’s access and Ping launched without it.
At the heart of that tiff, reportedly, was Facebook being annoyed that Apple hadn’t asked for permission to use Facebook’s API, let alone come up with a deal for that integration. Facebook reportedly wanted access to Ping user information, and Apple reportedly didn’t want to give it.
Whether or not that was the case, the service launched without Facebook integration, promptly languished, and is largely been considered a failure, even by people who like it.
Now, cut to Apple’s WWDC keynote on June 11th, when the company announced Facebook integration into iOS 6 itself. This will allow users to log in once to Facebook on their iOS devices and access the service in any app that supports it. Apple will also be adding Facebook’s “Like” feature directly into the iTunes Store (for movies) and the App Store, and Ping will reportedly be removed entirely from iTunes in the near future.
In any event, the two companies are working more closely today than they were just a couple of years ago, and it’s possible that having a former Apple designer at Facebook could help strengthen those ties.