Facebook Connect Comes To iPhone

App Store developers will have access to Facebook's API from within their apps, and the move could expand the social network's mobile presence.
At the South By Southwest conference this weekend, Facebook said it would be extending its Facebook Connect logon feature to the iPhone 3G.

Launched last year, Facebook Connect enables Web surfers to use their social network sign-on to log on to other Web sites, update their Web site activities on their profile pages, and track their friends' visits to partner sites. The feature is meant to help increase Web traffic to partner sites like Digg and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as increase interaction because users don't have to register for new accounts to comment on partner sites.

Expanding the platform to Apple's smartphone is somewhat of a natural progression because iPhone users tend to surf the mobile Web more than users of any other smartphone platform. Developers will be able to integrate Facebook Connect into applications to utilize the social network's large customer base.

"Simply download any application featuring Facebook Connect and log in using your Facebook account from your iPhone," according to the Facebook Blog. "Then, you'll be able to easily find your Facebook friends. They will be able to see the same profile information as they can on the site, controlled by your privacy settings. You can also share what you're doing with your iPhone applications with all of your Facebook friends by publishing stories back to your profile."

Facebook said this feature is currently available in certain iPhone apps in Apple's App Store, and more programs are expected to utilize it in the future.

Social networks like Facebook and MySpace can be a waste of employees' time, but they can also be a critical tool for business collaboration. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

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