Facebook to Launch New Mobile Platform?

l11204705797_2531.pngOf the buzz that is being generated regarding the upcoming Facebook F8 Conference, one that hasn’t yet been explored is the possibility of an announcement about a new Mobile platform. As of currently, Facebook is on the iPhone, the Blackberry, and just today an app for Windows Mobile was announced. For all others there is still a mobile version of the site that formats Facebook in a nice, easy to view format.

One thing you may not know is that Facebook actually has a special FBML tag for developers to use for the mobile platform (the tag). It ensures certain content will only appear if the user is on a mobile phone. This tag however only seems to work on certain phones, and seems flaky at best. Facebook has also provided an SMS API for apps to be able to send SMS to and from Facebook. As you can tell, there is tremendous potential for a large number of Facebook applications to come forth that utilize these tools.

One thing I noticed at F8 is that there is a particular session specifically devoted to developing Mobile Apps for Facebook. The session is titled, “Made for Mobile”, and per their Facebook Page for the event:

Mobile devices are opening up and creating new opportunities to build Facebook applications that extend beyond the Web. We’ll talk about methods for mobile development and engage in a Q&A on how to get started.

This is the first time I have seen an emphasis by Facebook to developers on their mobile platform since they released development tools for it about 6 months ago. Now, this could just be a re-emphasis to get developers again focused on developing mobile Apps, but I think there could be more to it – I think Facebook could be about to announce an entirely new platform for mobile, further expanding the web-based social network they now operate.

Considering the new iPhone releases this week (on the 11th), and will introduce many more opportunities to integrate with GPS and high speed internet connections (including push notifications!), it would make sense for Facebook to expand their own offering to the mobile phone. Also, according to Dave Morin, Senior Platform Lead for Facebook’s Tweets recently, there is some evidence that mobile has been on his mind, with one about him being at Apple for “some meetings”, another talking about an “EPIC Product breakthrough”, and another recently helping a friend get set up with Twitter on his Blackberry. It should also be noted that Morin used to work at Apple, so I’m sure the iPhone is at the top of his mind when it comes to mobile platforms.

These obviously aren’t “silver bullets”, but I believe there is some merit in Facebook wanting to have a presence on the mobile phone. There are, after all, 3.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, exceeding over half of the human population, and roughly 10 times that of the world’s internet users. With the new tools the iPhone is providing to pinpoint location, it provides the ideal environment for any social network to pinpoint where their users are and provide thorough, targeted advertising, with push notifications to those users. It also provides an opportunity to get to many of those in remote locations that do not have the opportunity to access a computer due to lack of phone lines. This could be that one path into good monetization Facebook is looking for and you better bet they’re not excluding it from their future.

I strongly feel that the 3 big players in the mobile phone industry in the future are Apple, Google, and Facebook. I really think that F8 will be the place that all starts, and I think that is the big news Facebook is waiting to announce but has yet to reveal.

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Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

0 thoughts on “Facebook to Launch New Mobile Platform?”

  1. Frankly, I'm not really aware of any real life examples. According to the
    Facebook developer forums there are some that have gotten it to work
    though. You can do a search on the forums for “mobile” and you're likely to
    find a few. I personally have had issues getting it to work and I'm pretty
    sure it's because I'm on an iPhone. Please feel free to share if you come
    up with a working example though!

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