Apple has confirmed to Pocket-lint that Facebook will be joining Twitter in being given system-level access to allow you to check and make status updates from anywhere at the click of a button. We've been playing with a developer preview of the new feature in action ahead of the official release later in the year.
Like Twitter, "Mac is now friends with Facebook", Apple explains, and that means beyond being added to the share button that is now everywhere in the OS, you'll also get Facebook details in your Contacts.
Click the Share button built into OS X Apple apps - there is also an API for third-party app support - and you'll be able to post links from Safari and photos from Preview, Photo Booth and Quick Look right to Facebook.
Like Twitter, users will be able to sign in once to Facebook in the Mail, Contacts & Calendars pane of System Preferences and Mountain Lion will automatically set up Facebook for Sharing, Contacts, and Notification Center. Users will still have to log in separately to view Facebook in the browser, however.
With Facebook sharing options working differently from Twitter, rather than being able to DM people, users will get additional options when it comes to sharing.
Facebook users will be able to choose who sees their posts - in the same way you can on Facebook.com - and opt to post photos to specific albums. You will also be able to add your location if you want to tell people where you are.
Apple has also given Facebook access to your Contacts, allowing you to link information between what details you have locally and what details are on Facebook for your mates.
As you would expect, when your friends update their information on Facebook those updates automatically appear in Contacts so you've always got the latest photo of them, although you can overide this with your own photo of them - handy if they've opted to use one from their schooldays or something completely unrecognisable. Birthday details, if present, are also added to the Calendar so you have plenty of warning when that important birthday is coming up.
In practice and Facebook integration works very well when it comes to sharing based on the time we've had with it. A right click on any file gives you the sharing option and the contextual pop-up is clever enough to know that you can't Facebook an application for example.
On Facebook.com posts are noted as being shared from OS X so people know what's what and whether its via right-clicking, via Safari or via the Notification Center it is easy enough to do.
We have noted a bug however in our playing, that means that if your Contact hasn't allowed others to see their birth year then they are automatically deemed to have been born in the year 1900.
That's made many of our friends look very good for their age all of a sudden. Hopefully this will be fixed before launch.