The WSJ is reporting that Facebook and Nokia are in talks about how to embed the social network into Nokia devices, mentioning the possibility of integrating Facebook contacts and activity with the device’s phonebook. That’s not quite the complete Facebook as Mobile UI idea, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction, and one that I think will be fairly common in new handsets by this time next year.
Of course, the WSJ post has the usual caveats, including this huge one:
Nokia is deciding whether it wants to team up with an established Web player like Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., or to build a social network from the ground up, said people familiar with the talks.
While experience tells me otherwise, I have a really hard time believing that’s much of a choice. I’ll repeat again what I said in September:
“So, to sum up, if you’re an operator or a handset vendor, don’t try to sell your users on some new social-networking site. Make it easier and better for them to access Facebook, or MySpace, or whatever social site they’re already invested in. Don’t try to sell them on some new IM service that’s closed off to most of their friends; make Skype or AIM or MSN work better on their handset.”
The news of talks is an encouraging sign that Nokia is getting this — maybe next week at MWC they’ll have something solid to announce.
What are your thoughts? Am I off base in thinking that integrating services like Facebook into mobile devices is a no-brainer?