How iOS 6's Facebook integration is a boon to developers

Developers are excited by the new features, according to Millennial Media.

Developers can't wait for iOS 6 and Facebook to show up on Apple's mobile devices.

That's according to Matt Gillis, who spent much of last week chatting with developers at Apple's WWDC event. As the head of global monetization for mobile advertising company Millennial Media, he's tapped into the developer community.

The key verdict from WWDC: a lot of excitement over the closer integration between Apple and Facebook. Developers are licking their chops waiting to tie their apps into Facebook, allowing the apps to show up in news feeds and eventually solving the problem of getting them in front of new users.

"They're excited by social integration and how it helps with discoverability," Gillis told me. "If you can make discovery easier, it drives chart position, which drives more downloads."

While some apps have decent Facebook integration now, it's a laborious process, Gillis said. The new features unveiled with iOS 6, which will run on everything from the iPhone 3GS to the iPad 2, along with the next iPhone, will make things easier for developers.

Gillis said Apple and Facebook together can solve the discoverability problem, an issue I've written about more than a few times.

Matt Gillis, head of global monetization for Millennial Media. Millennial Media

Developers are also excited about Passbook, a quasi-digital wallet that CNET's Brian Bennett believes could end up surpassing Google Wallet in the mobile transaction arena.

"To me, it seems like a step forward for brands to engage," Gillis said. "It seems like it will make m-commerce easier."

While there isn't necessarily a direct connection with developers right now, interest in Passbook could lead to more money and investment going into mobile payments, which will eventually benefit the whole ecosystem, he added.

Beyond listening to developers, Gillis had some advice for them. When it comes to mobile advertising, it pays to think ahead, he said.

Developers may have a great idea for an app or a game, but they'll need to think through the business case first. That includes thinking through who the advertisers may be, and understanding who the audience is made up of.

Millennial sells three kinds of mobile ads: standard banners that run on the top or bottom of a mobile site or app, a "full-page" ad that temporarily takes over the screen, and video. Gillis cites Zynga's "Words With Friends" as a good example of an app that smartly integrates ads.

"It was clear the game was built with monetization in mind," he said. "It's not much different than any other media business."

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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