Why Apple integrated iOS5 with Twitter, not Facebook

If you look around the blogs there's lots of speculation about complexity of integration, history of sour  negotiations over things like Ping.

I don't think it's anything like that - here's my really simple list of reasons:

Raison D'Etre

Facebook is essentially an "Application" - it collects content, stores it, aggregates it, distributes it. It allows users to have "space" on the web - a virtual home, so to speak, albeit connected with their circle of interests. 

This is nothing like what Apple/iOS needs. As a device and operating system, iPhone/iOS needs connectivity; it needs conduits for information - channels if you like. That's what email is, that's what SMS is, that's what instant messaging is.

That's also what twitter is - twitter is not an application as in the sense above; it is a transport hub, a conduit for realtime data to flow between relevant users. It might be described generically as "social media", but its modus operandi and purpose are entirely different to facebook. Twitter is a way for information, of almost any type, to flow between users. Facebook on the other hand is designed as a place to land to consume content.

That's not to say that Twitter doesn't intend to move up the "value chain" to become a place of higher value consumption - indeed, its acquisitions of the likes of tweetdeck and the long overdue enhancements to its online experience, such as the tie in with photobucket, clearly signal this intent. 

But quite simply, the DNA of twitter is more akin to the phone line as Facebook's is to the phone. 

Culture Clash

There is a complete cultural mismatch between Facebook and Apple. Apple lead the way on user experience and strive for total customer satisfaction. Apple's mantra is to put users first. Apple is slick and consistently good. (Yes, they've had their hiccups, but they deal with them sensibly.)

Little could seem to be further from the truth for facebook. Facebook acts first in its own interests, then retracts if the backlash is sufficient. Their mantra is clearly "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission". Facebook is clumsy and self-centred. 

Shoddy user experience and scant regard for user privacy have been demonstrated by Facebook time and time again. These two brands do not make good bedfellows. 

And that's it - these two reasons alone, in my opinion, have killed for the forseeable future any likelihood of Apple and Facebook joining forces. Personally I see it as no great loss. 

Stigma still very much in evidence at Management Today

Given the recent high-profile campaign by ReThink, I was saddened, disappointed and perhaps even slightly disgusted to read an article in management today that demonstrates - with textbook accuracy - the prejudice and stigma towards mental health issues that still exist today. It's not clear whether it is the result of ignorance or arrogance on the part of the author, in an attempt to be humourous - but for me, it doesn't work. It's embarassing. It's a publication that you think could do better.

The article is a commentary on a BT Tradespace survey that suggests Stephen Fry would be the small businesses'  dream employee. Unfortunately Management Today doesn't show the same insight and understanding as those small business, as it goes on to say:

But Fry has managed to trump them all, and by some distance too. Our only alarm is that – judging by his much-publicised walk-out from the West End a few years ago – he doesn’t have a great track record for dealing with pressure.

False Alarm. Whatever judgement is being exercised here, it is wrong. Fry's "much-publicised walk-out" was not a failure to deal with pressure - but by his own frank and moving admission, a result of a deeply dark period manifesting from his bi-polar disorder. Bi-polar is an illness, a malfunction - like a broken leg -  not a character weakness, as the author implies. Hey, but never let the facts get in the way of a good story?

In fact, anyone following Fry's life in detail through his twitter "tweets" will be staggered at the man's ability to cram twice as much as the rest of us into his day - not only responding to the thousands of followers who "tweet" to him daily, but jet-setting left, right and centre between TV sets, riding stubborn mules up mexican mountains, amidst writing and recording and everything else he does. The man is an inspiration.

Thankfully UK small businesses seem to recognise this - while the hand that feeds them - Management Today - should know better.