By the end of 2010, nearly 80% of the products pitched in Facebook product meetings were targeted at audiences that use desktop computers. However, that seems to be changing soon, according to Vaughan Smith, Facebook’s Vice President.
Vaughan announced at a recent development conference that the company “knows and is completely aware” that mobile needs to be first “from here on out.” The social media giant said that they have trained multiple engineers to specifically be mobile developers, and they have ramped up their update cycle for all of the mobile apps, including the ones for Android and the iOS.
“Since the start of this year, if you turned up at a product review and you showed anything other than mobile at the start and the bulk of the presentation, you’d be asked to go back and do it again,” Smith said at the conference in San Jose, CA. “So we’ve pivoted our thinking to be, ‘how can we create the right mobile experience first and the desktop can catch up later.”
Facebook has definitely figured out that the money is in mobile development, and says that they bought Instagram, a mobile photo-sharing site, earlier this year. They have also started allowing third-party developers to buy mobile ad space, even without the need for a user’s Facebook friend to have liked the page. In other words, the company has OK’ed unsolicited ads on mobile news feeds.
Because of the price drop on smartphones in most markets, companies like Motorola and Google have seen more business in the past few months than they have in the past year. Smith also stated at the conference that wireless operators are investing billions upon billions of dollars in improving mobile networks worldwide because “people want to be connected via Facebook.”