That great mobile push launched by Mark Zuckerberg six months ago is starting to bear fruit. Yesterday Facebook published a blog post claiming 100 million users sign into the social network via its Facebook For Every Phone app, which is aimed mostly at people without smartphones. What’s more, said Facebook, this is a “milestone.”
Given that Facebook has more than one billion monthly users, the number of people using the network via the app is just under one-tenth of its entire user base. Mobile use is, as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg well knows, intrinsically important to the firm. She feels mobile advertising rates should carry the same cachet as TV advertising rates, hence the impending arrival of video advertising on the site.
But is this really a milestone for the firm? Considering many of the phones that use the app are cheap feature phones belonging to the world’s poorest people, perhaps. But as smartphone use grows worldwide, and as smartphones get faster and better, more people will, of course, access their Facebook feeds via their mobiles. What will be interesting to see is whether growth for Facebook on mobile outstrips the rate of smartphone use worldwide. If it does, then that will be a red-letter day for the blue ‘book.