Facebook's minor role in the iPad 2

Just when you thought all this iPad 2 talk was over, here's the Facebook version.

All this iPad 2 hoopla today is getting out of hand. Ah well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

There was something mildly relevant to Facebook during the iPad 2 announcement: iMovie. Since the iPad 2 has a pair of cameras, Apple decided to port iMovie to its tablet. The app's online sharing features list the following options for "Share Movie To": camera roll, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and CNN iReport. That's right: Apple is supporting uploading recorded video to Facebook. The last time Facebook and Apple met, it wasn't pretty.

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced iTunes Ping in September 2010, he demoed Facebook integration in the service. It was soon revealed, however, that Apple and Facebook had failed to reach an agreement. Cupertino launched Ping with Facebook integration without authorization, so Palo Alto denied Ping access to the necessary APIs. While the APIs in question are provided to third parties for free, services that are expected to make more than 100 million requests in a 24-hour period must first negotiate terms with Facebook.

Obviously the potential Ping integration with Facebook would have been much more significant than this little iMovie tidbit. The actual ability to upload to Facebook itself isn't huge, but it is worth noting. Remember when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed why Facebook blocked Apple's Ping? It all came down to data reciprocity: Facebook did not want to give its data to Apple unless it got something in return. In this case, Apple is definitely giving Facebook something.

Cupertino has yet to build a relationship with Facebook the way Redmond has. Apple is known for completely cutting out partners and companies that screwed it over, such as Facebook did with the Ping launch. It's therefore noteworthy, in my opinion, that Apple is not fighting Facebook the way that Google is. Facebook isn't very big in the online video space, so Apple could have simply skipped over the social network, but it didn't.