When I joked everything would soon be wired to a social network the other day I didn’t realize how close I was to the mark. Because social net giant Facebook is angling to become the vehicle that lets everything on your smartphone get social.
The latest news about Facebook’s plans have surfaced at the Nokia World event, where it looks like the company’s trying to steal back some of the thunder that Nokia curiously stole yesterday with its Ovi Lifecasting app. And this is no fantasized theory based on speculation: Facebook Mobile’s director Henri Moissinac sets it all out pretty plainly: “We can make the whole Web social. Now we are going to do the same with mobile […] Apps are better when you can play them with your friends. With Facebook Connect for mobile, you will now be able to share them with your friends.”
Basically Facebook is unashamedly trying to position itself as a key component inside Apple’s App Store. The whole intention is to get developers hooking their apps up to Connect in order to share news/reviews and things like games’ high scores, which Facebook argues is the best model for making a specific app stand out from the 65,000-strong app crowd. It’s likely to work too–though there are burgeoning systems like NgMoco’s Plus+ gaming social net that’re trying to do the same thing, Facebook just keeps growing and growing its userbase, and developers will find themselves using Facebook simply through its inertia.
And though the Apple App store is the biggest there is, Facebook’s made its intentions about smartphone social network domination perfectly clear by expanding Facebook Connect across the entire mobile Web–not just for iPhone apps. That’ll give developers for devices like Palm’s Pre, and Android phones access to Facebook’s code so they can set up social networking hooks inside their software.
So it really does seem like everything on your smartphone could get a social networking spin, and Facebook wants to be the one to make it all happen. And despite the coolness factor of the social interaction, it’s really all about money, of course. By assuming a key role inside the machinery of smartphone app stores, Facebook can learn much more about how its users behave, including all that geotagged goodness…and then it can sell them even more, and more targeted, advertising.