March 14, 2009

Apple iPhoto to Integrate Facebook Connect

During Dave Morin's presentation on a search for a more social Web at the SXSW conference today, the senior platforms manager for Facebook mentioned the company would be integrating Facebook Connect with Apple's iPhoto consumer program, in what could be a big step for Cupertino away from their forced vertical integration with Mobile Me, and more toward an adoption of the broader social networking community.

As Facebook grows in visibility, it's no surprise that companies big and small are looking to tap into the service's reported 175 million accounts. As Morin said during his presentation, "The desktop is getting more important in terms of integration with the Web." And the move for iPhoto users to upload their photos to Facebook, add tags and other social data further blurs the line between what is a desktop app or a Web app.

Apple has long considered it one of the leaders of the Web - despite having zero presence in search, portals or social networking in general. The company's long in the tooth iTools to .Mac to MobileMe transition has never really gained traction with the masses, even though the company's iPhone/iTunes and iLife families have been tremendously successful. That they are moving to work with Facebook and support the integration of the service indicates they're trying to dismiss the "not invented here" mentality.

Morin did not indicate which version of iPhoto would include the Facebook Connect option, or a timeframe, but given the presentations by multiple iPhone app developers having integrated the same technology and APIs, it likely won't be too long.