Facebook hits new milestone for mobile users
On February 10th, Facebook’s vice president of user growth, mobile and international, Chamath Palihapitiya made an announcement that Facebook has surpasses 100 million active mobile users worldwide. This milestone is impressive considering just six months ago the social networked announced it had reached 65 million users on Facebook Mobile.
Palihapitiya stated, “Through this growth, we have continued to try to improve the experience of these mobile products. We work with every major device manufacturer and many operators to ensure we provide the best possible mobile experience across thousands of different devices, mobile operating systems and carriers you rely on.”
The announcement continued and highlighted some of the recent mobile products Facebook has launched, citing the goal of offering value and user experience. Below are the specific products mentioned:
Mobile Websites (m.facebook.com and touch.facebook.com) allow users to access Facebook from any mobile browser and in over seventy different languages. Facebook claims that they want to be certain people have a great Facebook experience regardless of what mobile device they use and they acknowledge the necessity of keeping up with new devices so that Facebook scales to the different devices without issues.
Text messaging has also been a priority for Facebook. They want users to be able to update and stay connected using SMS text messaging. They launched a URL shortening service called FB.ME that makes it easier for people to share content. This is especially useful for people using text messaging that have a limited number of characters you can use per message.
Applications are a top priority, as Facebook is already one of the most requested services on mobile devices. Facebook currently works with every major device maker and mobile operating systems to bring applications and integrations that will ensure Facebook works with each platform. Updates have been released recently for applications for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia and Samsung. Aside from these particular devices, Facebook also supports devices from HTC, INQ, LG Electronics, Palm, Sony Ericsson and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.
According to the report, “Facebook has already become a primary way for millions of people to stay connected and Facebook’s lead is likely to be extended as more consumers use increasingly powerful mobile devices (with photo/video plus high speed access) and the communications options on Facebook (like voice/video chat and other services) continue to rise.”
comSource data shows that the usage of social networking via cell phones is small, but growing. In December 16% of mobile device users over the age of 13 had accessed a social network or blog. In September that number was only 13%.
Despite the positive changes Facebook has made in regards to mobile applications, a quick look through the over 800 user comments to this article will show that while Facebook may be making huge strides in mobile user satisfaction, there is much left to be done. Frequent layout changes have left users both confused and frustrated. Despite this, Facebooks user numbers continue to soar both on mobile and non-mobile devices.