The iPhone 5 is here and it’s safe to say that it was met with mixed emotions. On one hand you’ve got the fanboys (myself included) that will buy it just because it is the iPhone 5, and on the other hand are those individuals wondering what all the hoopla is about. As always, the newest iPhone is thinner, lighter and faster, but this time there’s more: a bigger screen. This larger 4” screen marks the first time that Apple has changed the iPhone display (besides the iPhone 4 Retina update) since the launch of the initial iPhone in 2007. There are many cool new features of the iPhone 5 and some of the most exciting are the new social integrations of Facebook, Twitter and Yelp.
iOS 6 marks the first time that Facebook has been natively integrated into the iPhone, a feature which is exciting news to many people. Users will now be able to post photos straight from the Camera Roll or Photos app to Facebook, post their location directly from the Maps app, share their high score on Angry Birds from Game Center, have their friends’ contact information and birthdays added directly into the Contacts and Calendar apps, share music and apps from the iTunes and App Stores and, of course, have Siri do their Facebook bidding.
Twitter has been baked into iOS since iOS 5 launched last year, and thanks to the partnership, it was able to triple its daily signups. The functionality has allowed for much easier tweeting of practically anything done on an iPhone, provided that the developer included the functionality. Now with iOS 6, Twitter is embedded even deeper into iOS with a “Tap to Tweet” button in the Notification Center and the ability to tell Siri to tweet for you.
Apple has also partnered with Yelp to bring quick and easy restaurant discovery to iOS 6 users. Siri now pulls up restaurant information and ratings based on the Yelp database, allowing users to view multiple restaurant ratings at a glance. Yelp also shines in the new Maps app, which provides users with detailed information cards on restaurants and businesses when searching for locations.
With this ease of sharing brought by all three of these social network integrations, users are bound to share more often about a wider variety of topics, without having to thinking about it. To use a phrase from “The Zuck” himself, these integrations are pushing us even closer to true frictionless sharing. Now, instead of having to take a photo or copy a link, open the app of choice, paste and hit send, users can simply tap the iOS share button, choose their network and voila: a new post is born.
While this all seems wonderful for these networks, I can foresee some potential problems for brands on these networks, primarily Facebook, moving forward. Take a user such as myself who occasionally posts to Facebook, but believe it or not, doesn’t spend hours on end browsing Facebook and checking out what friends are doing. I can now post to Facebook directly from my iOS apps and never have to open the Facebook app, which cuts out a lot of brand messages that I would normally see. With the way that social networks are becoming much more ubiquitous nowadays, brands and marketers are going to have to adapt to be able to reach their audiences in a much more fragmented environment.
With these new features in iOS 6, the iPhone 5 is set to be a device that steals the hearts of many, and with over 2 million preorders in the first 24 hours, I’d say that it already has.