This has clearly been the company’s strategy from the beginning, but we are just now starting to see clear results of it.
Facebook announced Tuesday that four upcoming Android devices--two from INQ and two from HTC--will offer deeper integration with the social service than we’ve seen on other mobile devices.
From INQ, the Cloud Touch and Cloud Q will support single sign-on and will feature Facebook integration right on the home screen, with one-touch access to the News Feed, chat, Places and more. (Single sign-on is like Facebook Connect for mobile; it lets users log in to a variety of non-Facebook applications instantly by using their Facebook ID and password.)
HTC's ChaCha and Salsa phones each feature a dedicated Facebook button to give users instant access to all the most-used Facebook functions, like chatting, sharing media, and checking in.
In addition to these new phones from INQ and HTC, you'll also be seeing similar deep Facebook integration on dozens of other devices over the course of this year. Some manufacturers will be highlighting Facebook as a part of their phones' on-screen interfaces, and others will use our brand as an element of the device hardware itself.
Unfortunately for Facebook fanatics on the iPhone, I’d wager a large bet that Apple won’t be one of the first wave to integrate Facebook this deeply. Apple loves nothing more than delivering the Apple experience, not the Apple-and-some-other-popular-company experience.
Facebook seems fine with that, though, happily working away at bringing the social site to other creatures in the vast sea of mobile platforms. Last month, the company, in a partnership with Snaptu, announced that Facebook functionality is coming to 2,500 feature phones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other manufacturers. And not even a year ago, Facebook launched 0.facebook.com, a text-only version of the site for those who can’t afford expensive data plans.
From the most advanced and pricey mobile devices to the most readily available run-of-the-mill phones, Facebook is secretly carving itself a gargatuan presence.