Tim Cook Explains What Apple Really Thinks About Facebook, Hints At Future iOS/OS X Integration

Tim Cook Explains What Apple Really Thinks About Facebook, Hints At Future iOS/OS X Integration

Apple wears its love for microblogging social network Twitter on its sleeves. With iOS 5, Twitter became deeply integrated into every iPhone and iPad; with Mountain Lion, Twitter will be a native feature of every Mac.

Given the above, it would be easy to conclude that Apple doesn’t think much of Facebook. However, as Tim Cook made clear to investors at the annual Apple Shareholder’s Meeting today, the truth is more complicated.

Asked by shareholders about Facebook, Tim Cook said that Facebook was a friend.

“Facebook [is a] friend. We do a lot with them, and our users use Facebook an enormous amount.”

In fact, Cook says that he personally would like to work more closely with Facebook going forward.

“I’ve always thought that the two companies could do more together,” he said. “We’ve integrated Twitter … It’s been great for Twitter, and it’s been equally great for our users.”

To me, that strongly implies that it’s Facebook and not Apple that is the holdout in integrating Facebook’s services into Apple’s core operating systems. Cook is saying straight out: “Hey, integrating Twitter’s been great for everyone; why not Facebook?” Seems to me to be a pretty major clue that if Apple and Facebook can come to terms, we’ll see Facebook integration in iOS 6.

What do you think? Should Apple do more to work with Facebook in future versions of iOS and OS X?

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  • macgizmo

    Apple + Facebook = Google+ Death!

  • bidji

    Facebook – next mobile flash.

  • maccid

    No. Facebook gains from working with Apple, not the other way around.

  • Tim Meesseman

    It goes both ways. Facebook gets more hits, and Apple gets more bells and whistles in iOS.

  • kaipaniolo

    Facebook has privacy issues that Apple is trying to stay away from

  • Matheus Araujo

    I think that Apple should make this kind of integration with an API… This way, is up to Facebook (or anyone else) if they want or not an integration…

  • minimalist1969

    Translation:  Twitter submitted to our terms for direct integration, Facebook has not.   

    I doubt its Facebook that’s the holdup.  That company will whore themselves out to any partner they can find… as long as that partner agrees to open a direct pipeline for customer information to travel back to FB.  I can see where Apple is not willing to get that incestuous with their customer information.  My guess is that they trying to make FB cave to their terms by showing  how much a bump Twitter gets from OS level integration.

  • DrM47145

    Soon people will regret having exposed their life on Fecebook.

    I’d say: Apple, stay away from it. I will sooner or later explode, and it will be good to have nothing to do with Fecebook.

  • Spam

    Please keep Facebook out of iOS. It’s already taken over everywhere else and I hate it. 

  • Ed_Kel

    I’m afraid that Facebook integration will only clutter my device. Anyone ever try to sync Facebook contacts on an Android device? Apple doesn’t need that complexity…

  • maccid

    You’re right. I guess it’s me just not liking facebook. I hate to think that Apple is actually trying to integrate their OS with a company that will IMO be myspace in a few years.

  • tjweppler

    Cook is saying straight out: “Hey, integrating Twitter’s been great for everyone; why not Facebook?”

    Are you quoting Cook or is this your impression of what he’d actually said?

  • Alex

    Your information + Facebook = no privacy 

  • MySkyizBlue

    I see wut you did there -_-

  • sebzar

    Comparing Facebook to twitter is in my opinion wrong as both services are meant to have totally different purposes. Facebook is about sharing your personal details and privacy with your friends, though Facebook seems to think that the whole world should be your friend. You can do that on twitter as well but twitter is more meant for microblogging, which means sharing thoughts and opinions with the world. Besides that Twitter is more transparent then Facebook and google+. I don’t think it would be smart of Apple to work together with both Facebook and Google+ as that would link the bad names both social sites have with the (clean) brand that Apple tries to be. That Apple users use Facebook and goolge+ is off course a fact. Just like apple users will surf for porn on their devices as well. I don’t hear Tim Cook saying “Hey we have so many users surfing for porn, let’s work together with this porn site so our users can easily upload their FaceTime ‘conversations”.

  • Slash_Cynic

    The bigger Apple and Facebook get the harder they fall.

  • Alon

    Facebook has to stop changing their website until then they can’t integrate at all!!!!

  • Porkbamboo

    iPhone already does that.  Then Facebook takes the info & makes friends suggestions with it.

  • baby_Twitty

    Facebook is cunning , and Apple is NOT that foolish.

    You people ought to know Facebook’s ultimate MOTIVE is to hijack and intrude on Apple users’ data.

    THERE’S NO WAY Facebook will be baked into iOS6 by Apple.

    NEVER IN A MILLION.

    MARK MY WORDS.

  • Enriko Lucas Menzies

    I don’t think Apple has that much to gain in regards to features here. Social sharing–Facebook, Twitter, et cetera–has already been integrated into apps since iOS 3.

    When they rolled out iOS 5 with Twitter (though the official client didn’t come pre-installed), it was only worth mentioning because social sharing hadn’t been done natively on iOS yet.
    The closest thing they had was the option of posting video directly to YouTube, and even then you had to post to Twitter/Facebook through the app and not within iOS itself.

    Facebook will merely be a second option. Will Apple hype it? Probably. However, it’s not nearly as big of a deal as this article makes it out to be. 

  • aborovkoff

    No. Facebook is at its height right now and slowly slipping away, ala MySpace. It was a cool novelty until you began to realize that ALL the games were exactly alike, and that you were stuck in a Facebook internet world, seperate from the rest of the internet. Let Facebook fade away like a dinosaur.

  • Andy Murdock

    You – Electricity + Kaczynski Shack = Privacy 

  • Intersil Juniper

    Facebook won´t last because there is better one´s coming and too many. 

    Research reports says allready younger generation is walking out from facebook because of no privacy for more priviledged places. Same research report found that males between age 18 – 35 are tired for peoble updating their status all the time.

    Facebook does not fill any particulary need or purpose the same way as twitter does.

  • John Howell

    No, apple should provide acces to an integration API or service that ANY service can use, otherwise this is just exclusive deals, and back room negotiations dictating what flies and what sinks.

  • John Howell

    And I pretty much use twitter only to post to Facebook for services that don’t support Facebook. 8)

  • grouver

    that’s absolutely wrong as the integration with Facebook would only allow you to post messages from anywhere on your iOS device. You would still have to go on Facebook to read what other people have posted and there would actually be a huge gain for Facebook. The content quality would become more relevant to what users are actually doing while not on Facebook’s site and in turn Facebook will get more traffic which results in higher revenues.

  • grouver

    actually, it’s not Apple that will gain things but the developers writing iOS apps. If you have OS level Facebook integration that means that adding it to your app is extremely simple and you also have one less thing to test and worry about.

  • grouver

    I bet it’s more like “Facebook has privacy issues which Apple is trying to convince them to fix before iOS integrations becomes an option” :)

  • grouver

    you do know that the Facebook API specifies multiple levels of data sharing and the reason why a lot of applications require you to share everything from your profile is because the developers were a-holes or too lazy to read the documentation, right?
    Apple might provide Facebook integration but Facebook will have to change a few thing before they do and plus Apple will not be feeding any of your contacts into the Facebook servers just like Twitter has no access to the info on your device at the moment. 

  • mrweid

    heck no. i don’t need junkies from facebook on my osx and ios6 please. more choice means more trobule. i will just stick to twitter for all my socials.

  • Jen

    all i’m interested in is what tim cook wore to address the shareholders… the guy needs a stylist. http://littlebiggy.org/4648387

  • Alex

    Not signing up for facebook or other social networks = Privacy 
    No shack required : ) 

  • xnickitynickx

    The one thing nobody seems to realize is, that they could just, you know, not use it.  If you don’t want the integration, don’t use it. That being said, I’m so-so about it. I think it’ll still take some time anyways.

  • minimalist1969

    Or Facebook wants Apple to hand over private information Apple is not willing to hand over.  This is why the Ping deal fell through and its why Apple is now sleeping with Facebook’ss arch enemy (Twitter) and bragging about how good she is in bed to make FB jealous and impulsively agree to lesser terms.

  • prof_peabody

    How does this article tell us about Cook “hint(ing) at future iOS/OS-X integration”?

  • RonBlatto

    You stole my post.  Misleading this headline was.  @Author: similar features does not equal integration.

  • Eric Stammers

    Tim, Tim, please keep that crap out of OS X and IOS. its just evil.

  • Dilbert A

    The less FB the better.

  • Dilbert A

    This

  • Dan Miller

    I say no to FB

  • DeVon McWhite

    They still get information on you actually i heard on NPR the other day.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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