This go round, Facebook is opening up their API to the iPhone application development community. What does this mean? On face value (no pun intended), developers can integrate Facebook profiles and functionality into their iPhone (or iPod Touch) applications. But what it really means is every time an app user broadcasts an update to Facebook, whether it’s their high score from a popular game like Tap Tap Revenge or a restaurant recommendation with Urbanspoon, they are exposing their friends and followers to that app. It’s free marketing. And while the rest of the world tries to figure out how to harness social networking, Facebook just gave mobile applications a free ride.
Not that iPhone apps are hurting for attention. With free marketing and distribution through iTunes and Apple’s open iPhone development community, just about anyone can get in on the action. Of course, knowledge of Cocoa, the framework for Objective C, which is the primary development language for iPhone applications, is helpful. According to Facebook, and this handy dandy video they put together, Facebook Connect implementation only takes 5 minutes and a few lines of Objective C: