Last week Facebook announced what they’re calling “the largest software development kit update in Facebook history.” Facebook SDK for iOS 3.0 Beta is the key iOS app developers need to integrate the social network into their apps.
Apple announced deep Facebook integration for iOS back in June at WWDC, promising “the best Facebook integration ever in a mobile device.” Facebook SDK will allow app developers to get a jumpstart on that mobile-social integration.
The update is fully backwards compatible, meaning it will work with iOS 6 this Fall, as well as older versions all the way back to iOS 4. The ready-to-use native UI views will allow devs to add common Facebook elements (user profile pictures, the Facebook Places database and a friend selector) to their apps rather than building from scratch.
iOS integration is a big win for Facebook since Twitter hasn’t been able to make headway despite deep integration. Twitter has been inside iOS for a while now with no real killer apps, which could be why Facebook went for the beta SDK release in combination with a plethora of resources to get third party app developers on the same page.
And if we didn’t know before, the Facebook IPO flop made it readily apparent that mobile strategy (or lack thereof) is a major pain point for the social giant. With a slow start in mobile advertising and a glitchy mobile app, iOS integration might just be what it takes to solve the mobile conundrum. The Facebook Software Development Kit for iOS puts creativity in the hands of third party devs, and Facebook is most certainly hoping the pairings are fruitful.