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Facebook Cozies Up to Android Developers




Apparently Facebook is still out there trying to do business but at an important conference like Google’s I/O event they have managed to be much more private than their 450 million users’ data. Of course, that doesn’t take much these days now does it?

All Facebook reports on Facebook’s efforts to work with the Android development community in ways that may surprise some.

Facebook announced new mobile social networking functionality for the Android platform this week. At Google I/O, Google’s developer conference, executives routinely made fun of Steve Jobs and Apple, but Facebook’s role in the drama was overlooked by the press. Facebook’s mobile development team soft launched a Facebook SDK for Android, bringing functionality that was previously only available on the iPhone to the Android platform. It gets better: Facebook gave the Android platform a de facto exclusive on two of its newest initiatives: Open Graph APIs and OAuth 2.0.

Now, I will be honest here. I hire developers to do things so I am no expert here about just what Android developers can do with the new SDK (software developer kit). The sentiment I do understand is the following that comes from an interview with Charles Wu who is Facebook’s program manager for mobile. It says

Facebook’s SDK for Android is like the Facebook SDK for the iPhone, but better. Its more advanced, implementing Faceboook’s newly announced Graph API and other new features like deep linking. Facebook’s goal is to make it easy for developers to put Facebook in their app, using a native SDK for Android.

So why would Facebook be so anxious to give Android developers a leg up on the iPhone app developer community? Your guess is as good as mine but it seems as if either Facebook sees a kindred spirit in Google related offerings (you know that whole privacy thingy) or it sees more upside with the Android. Oh, there is a third option as well, which could be anything that isn’t the two previously mentioned ;-).

So while Google is out announcing Google TV and continuing to egg on the Apple and Flash battle royal, it is also busy trying to get Android to Google’s familiar status of being a ubiquitous offering. Hey, it’s Google after all.

So is Android really positioned to make a serious run at the iPhone’s market dominance at this early stage in the game? They certainly are giving it the ol’ college try. Maybe they’ll turn the corner if they drop out? After all, isn’t that how good things happen in Silicon Valley?

Have a great weekend.