Facebook’s social media strategy goes mobile
Facebook looks set to expand its mobile presence with reports that the social network is diversifying its word missing? to include Android services and position itself as a media platform.
The change in direction was discussed by Erik Tseng, Facebook mobile chief, at this year's GigOm's Mobilize conference in San Francisco.
Tseng said: "We have one principle in the mobile team – every phone should be social."
He also confirmed the major growth area for the social media network was in the mobile market, stating that "the predominant ways people are connecting in Africa, in India, is through their mobile devices".
Internationally, the Facebook app is already the most popular feature on smartphones – its Android features are also deeply integrated with a number of providers and more than a third of its 800 million active users tune into the service via their mobiles.
And these figures are expected to rise, according to Tseng, who commented: "Within another year or two, we’ll be a mobile company, with one-half mobile users."
Moving to an even split mobile-social network would dramatically change the way Facebook does business.
If Tseng is to be believed, it would mean that the company is no longer a social network but rather a media platform.
By way of analogy, the San Francisco Chronicle reported this week (September 28) that this would mean it is operating in a similar way to Microsoft – maximising its user base and then extending into a variety of different markets.
One new direction is anticipated to be kicked off early next week when Apple holds its Let's Talk iPhone conference on October 4.
Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5 at the event and industry insiders have been speculating about whether this announcement will include information on the new Facebook app for iPad.
For any company with a social media strategy, news about Facebook moving into the mobile market and positing itself as a media platform will be particularly interesting, as this opens the network to a number of new commercial sectors.