iPhone and Facebook, a Marriage Made In Heaven

by Thomas Beutel

Prof. John Gallauger of the Carroll School of Management ends his June 3 post on Facebook with a provocative thought: “…look for the inevitable iPhone/Facebook apps to transform the way we think about mobile computing.”I posted an idea for such an app yesterday — a mashup of Google map search and restaurant recommendations.While there is still a question on how Apple will open up the iPhone to 3rd party apps, there is no question that the iPhone will be a unique platform to build upon. Especially mashed-up with social platforms such as Facebook. Remember at the beginning of the iPhone intro when Steve Jobs introduced the “third” product, the “Breakthrough Internet Communicator”? Remember the tepid applause? We couldn’t applause at that moment because we didn’t have any context. That context is just now slowly being understood.Imagine that you are a Facebook user looking for the perfect mobile Facebook accessory. An iPhone filled with Facebook apps would fit the bill nicely. Always in touch, Facebook style. The original social app (the telephone) melded with the new social app. Mobile computing, transformed.When Jobs speaks of the iPod, he frequently uses the word “ecosystem” to describe the depth and breadth of the iPod accessory market. For the iPhone though, the question that comes to mind is: will Facebook be an accessory in iPhone’s ecosystem, or will the iPhone be an accessory in Facebook’s ecosystem?