Groups Coming to Facebook for iPhone

| Product News

Facebook’s Groups feature will be making an appearance in a planned update for the company’s Facebook app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement during a special mobile-related media event on Wednesday.

Mr. Zuckerberg also said that the Facebook Places geolocation feature will get geotagging support, and that after users check in at locations they’ll be able to attach a photo to the post.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has added a new feature called Single Sign On, users who are logged in to the Facebook app on their iPhone (or Android device) can use a “Log In With Facebook” feature for other apps that, A.) require a login, and B.) have built in support for Single Sign On to their own app. The video below demonstrates this feature on a Google Nexus One Android phone. 

Rumors that Facebook has been working on its own mobile phone were put to rest at the media event, too. “There are rumors out there that Facebook is building a phone,” he said. “No.”

While it’s nice to see new feature support planned for the iPhone ad iPod touch Facebook app, it’s also interesting to note that the company seems to be developing for Apple’s mobile platform first, and following up later with apps for competing platforms.

The Facebook app is free and is available at Apple’s iTunes-based App Store.

[Thanks to CNET for the heads up.]


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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The Android version is neat. Been playing with it for 20 minutes. As I read the event transcript after the fact on Engadget, a couple things struck me.

1. Their mobile OS platform support is going to pretty much be in parity to the extent that development tools let them be. Regardless of whether they can use a single source base or not, there will be parity across the apps. I.e. no advantage to having one platform or the other besides maybe getting some features a week in advance. This has to be killing Steve. For social, it just means that iPhone is a prettier package, not a better platform.

1a. But with single login, smaller app developers might not achieve that parity. Expect them to break out where friction is lowest and fold other platforms in after the fact. I.e. expect a development platform like Flash to become the de facto programming API with Facebook the de facto social API.

2. Facebook thinks mobile is about social. Apple thinks it’s about self-contained apps (toys and games). Google and RIM are agnostic. Facebook is making it easy for others to connect to the social graph. Apple is digging in trying to preserve its garden boundaries.

Lee Dronick

Oh swell! I check into the Haughtsheet Motel with my goumada. Take a photo of her and it gets posted to the groups. smile


Earlier Steve Jobs has negotiated with Mark Zuckerberg and that negotiations haven’t lead to anything ‘cause Jobs doesn’t want to cave in to this young upstart. I think all stories about super-puper mobile phone which will slap on the brain of iPhone are invented by Facebook for intimidation of Apple.

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