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When Facebook iOS integration came onto the scene, Apple and Facebook joined forces in an effort to enhance your life – not to burden it. Cook and Zuckerberg didn’t get together in some secret layer on a private island in the Pacific to concoct some evil plan that would ruin millions of peoples’ lives by adding Facebook to the iPhone.
I know that sometimes it may seem like it, but honestly, this isn’t the case. I’m not one to view the world through rose-colored glasses, but let me at least show you some of the benefits and their nuisances of having Facebook on your iPhone. The two main features are contact and calendar integration – two biggies that have the potential to change your life.
The other features are a bit more minor but still worth mentioning.
The first convenience that iOS Facebook integration offers is the ability to import your contacts. In theory, this is a fantastic idea! Rather than having to manually add each individual person you know, you can just pull the contact info from Facebook’s servers – you even can get the person’s profile picture!
Alas, this is only when in the context of such a theory.
The problem with this is that not everyone adds the proper information to their contact information on their profile. What this means is that you can have many people in your Contacts that don’t even have a phone number. Even worse, most of the time they will only have their Facebook email address – like anyone even uses that.
There is currently no way to exclusively add contacts who have phone numbers in one full sweep, but you can opt out of Facebook adding contacts period. It’s as simple as going into your Facebook settings and turning the feature off.
This feature would be highly useful if everyone was willing to cooperate. It’s helped me more than a few times when I needed to call a friend whose number – for whatever reason – I didn’t have. It also can help them identify who is calling. In the end, this is a good feature, but it can also be an annoying one much of the time.
Automatic Calendar Events
Facebook is typically most people’s way of organizing and remembering events. It’s probably the best way to list all the details of your party, find out who’s coming, give directions, and more all at once. It’s a no-brainer to have these details imported into your iPhone’s calendar, right? I have to say that this is one of the least nuisance-inducing features that the iOS Facebook integration offers – personally, I like it.
However, again, this only works if other people cooperate. The way that calendar integration works is that it adds every event you have been invited to on your calendar. It doesn’t necessarily alert you as if it is something you had planned to attend, but it does let you know what kind of stuff is coming up. This is great for those times you are sitting around and are wondering what exactly is going on next Saturday night.
But the problem lies with people who abuse Facebook by creating events that aren’t events. You know what I’m talking about – the kind of stuff that should be pages, groups, or better yet, not even exist.
I NEED 5000 RSVPS SO MY PARENTS WILL LET ME GET A TONGUE RING LOL (I’M ONLY 13!!!!1!11!)
Yeah. So unless you potentially want stuff like this on your iPhone, turn the calendar feature off in your settings. Honestly, it hasn’t been an issue for me at all, but this can happen. With that said, an easier fix would be to just decline the event invitation on Facebook, and it will disappear from your calendar.
You also have the option of viewing birthdays in your master calendar based on Facebook’s info, but you can remove the birthday calendar in the app’s settings. Likewise, you can keep the birthday dates but remove the event dates without having to deactivate Facebook integration as a whole.
The Other Stuff
Other features that iOS Facebook integration allows include the abilities to receive notifications and instantly share your pictures and videos. Both are great perks if you are one who likes to stay connected with friends and family as much as possible.
Notifications can be annoying for two reasons: 1) you may get a lot of them, and it can be a bit more of an annoyance than normal text messages and phone calls, and 2) you may mentally separate Facebook from the “streaming” part of your life. That is, you probably have a time set aside to look at Facebook in the day, so you expect to access Facebook – not to be accessed by Facebook. It is nice to have instant gratification whenever someone tries to contact you, but you can always turn notifications off in your settings.
As for the ability to instantly share stuff – this is an all-around great feature. If you’re wanting to share something, you’re likely going to share it in one of two places: Facebook, Twitter, or both. Why not have Facebook immediately accessible? Granted, this could be awkward. You may accidentally share some embarrassing pictures that were meant for certain friends’ eyes only, but at the same time, it’s quite the convenience.
Is iOS Facebook integration genuinely useful? It is, but since it’s a social feature, it’s only useful if your friends use the site responsibly. Which most of the time, they won’t. Hmm….
Even still, I say that the good definitely outweighs the bad in this case. But you may very well disagree – have you integrated Facebook with your iPhone? Or have you opted to stay as far away from Facebook as possible? Add your thoughts in the comments, below.