Apple’s API Change Enables App Downloads Through Facebook
Remember when users had to go to the App Store to download new apps? Those days are over, at least somewhat, for Facebook for iOS 6 users. App developers who pay a per-click fee to Facebook can now make their products available for download through a pop-up window in a user’s Facebook account, as opposed to forcing an interested user to drop out of Facebook and into the App Store to carry out the download process.
Upon encountering an ad for an app that he or she is interested in downloading, a user will now be able to click on the appropriate button. A dialog box will then pop up, at which point instructions will be given as to how to proceed.
After the download is complete, the user will be returned to where he or she was, making for a far more pleasant and continuous Facebook experience. This change comes on the heels of Apple’s decision to integrate Facebook into iOS 6, as it did with Twitter in iOS 5.
The Facebook/iPhone integration makes it possible for users of iOS 6 to log in to their Facebook accounts on an OS level, which in turn gives them the ability to take advantage of third-party apps. Users can also integrate Facebook and Phone contacts, and they can share content directly to Facebook. This most recent change only sweetens the deal for iPhone-loving Facebook devotees.
Facebook may not be the only company to make this feature available to users; the change is made possible because of recent updates to Apple’s API that enabled App Store pop-ups.
Could an update to Apple’s public API mean that similar pop-up features are coming to, say, Twitter, MySpace, and other such sites? So far, no other company has come forward to announce anything of the sort, but given how competitive Facebook and Instagram have become with Twitter, it’s only a matter of time.