Patently Apple points to a new patent application from Apple which surfaced this morning in the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) database pertaining to a “database message builder” which might be Apple’s take on unified, platform-agnostic social sharing. “The user can publish the message to a target application or network resource (e.g., a social networking site)”, Apple writes in a summary of the patent application. The document describes tokens which are replaced with the structured data prior to publishing the message. In plain English, tokens are basically photos, location data, videos and other structured data one can embed in status updates. In fact, Apple’s solutions is a ubiquitous one and could easily support other micro-blogging platforms and publishing to web sites…

It has long been rumored that iOS 5 would integrated with Facebook at the system level, but thus far the company only unveiled Twitter integration in iOS 5. 9to5Mac later discovered social account fields in the Address Book application of iOS 5 Beta 1 that indicated plans to extend social integration beyond Twitter to LinkedIn, MySpace, Flickr, Facebook or any other custom service for that matter. Those clues hint that iOS 5 will eventually support any social network. That said, it makes a lot of sense to build a unified service and the message creation frontend which will then updated individual services using their respective APIs rather than start from scratch for each service. The company credits engineer Ryan Griggs with this invention. To get more information, type in the patent application number 20110173238 into the USPTO search engine.

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