Fast Company

Why Is Facebook Pushing Mobile? Users Are 2 Times More Active Than Desktop-Only Users: CTO

Social increasingly means mobile. That’s why mobile is the social network’s main priority for 2011, says Facebook’s Bret Taylor.

Facebook CTO <a href=Bret Taylor" />Facebook used to be this website that you wasted time on when you should have been working. Increasingly, it’s an experience that you tangle with when you’re out and about. According to Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, who was speaking at Inside Social Apps on Tuesday, people who engage with Facebook on mobile devices are twice as active as people who only use it on their computers.

As a result, said Taylor, “Mobile is our primary focus for our platform this year.”

About 200 million use Facebook on a mobile device. As the more active users, it makes sense for the company to focus on them.

“Our team really is focused on growth,” Taylor said. “We really would like to be the biggest source of traffic--for apps on Facebook obviously, but also for sites around the Web.”

Last fall, Facebook introduced “single sign-on” to facilitate that growth. Single sign-on is a utility that allows mobile users to sign in to Facebook once and then be automatically signed in to every app on their device that accepts Facebook sign-ins. These kind of features make it easier to slip on into the apps they want to work with.

According to Taylor, Flixster, a site (and app) that allows you to share movie reviews, saw a 300% jump in sign-ups as a result of the feature. And that’s good for Facebook. The more people use sites that use Facebook sign-ins, the more valuable Facebook becomes, the more attached other sites and apps become to Facebook, and the more Facebook solidifies its position as the social network to play with.

To that end, Taylor said one of the chief metrics Facebook tracks is the amount of traffic they send to other companies. “According to ComScore, we were the fastest growing source of traffic for websites around the Internet last year,” he said. “That’s what we look at when measuring our potential influence as a platform and the potential value we provide to companies [building] on the Facebook platform.”

E.B. Boyd is FastCompany.com's Silicon Valley reporter. Follow me on Twitter, or email me.

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  • Jimbo Giggo

    Facebook is old, stale and boring boring boring. I only look at it when I want to fall asleep as fast as possible. Better than weed for that.