What's not entirely clear is how this affects Facebook's relationship with Apple (AAPL), which owns its own operating system, iOS. Last year, Facebook was integrated heavily into iOS 6, allowing users to post from their iPhones or iPads directly to Facebook, much as Apple did with Twitter. If Facebook were to launch its own operating system as opposed to just a skin on Android, the relationship between Apple and Facebook could be put at odds, with the two companies competing for market share as opposed to being complementary toward each other.
When Facebook announced Graph Search earlier this year, the company changed its business model, adding what Zuckerberg called a "third pillar" to Facebook. I've been told this announcement is on par with that. We'll find out Thursday whether the announcement is worth the hype.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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