Facebook Aims To Improve Its Mobile EcoystemBy: Chris Crum - February 27, 2012
At Mobile World Congress today, Facebook CTO, Bret Taylor announced a couple initiatives where Facebook is working with partners in the industry on mobile web standards and payment improvements.
When Facebook filed for its IPO earlier this month, Facebook expressed that mobile is something of a risk factor for the company.
Facebook said: “Growth in use of facebook through our mobile products, where we do not currently display ads, as a substitute for use on personal computers may negatively affect our revenue and financial results; Facebook user growth and engagement on mobile devices depend upon effective operation with mobile operating systems, networks, and standards that we do not control.”
So, naturally, Facebook is working to better monetize mobile users. Also, they’re working on creating a better mobile experience in general.
“We see more people accessing Facebook on the mobile web than from our top native apps combined, so we know the mobile web is important for reach,” says Facebook’s Douglas Purdy on the company’s Developer blog discussing the new initiatives announced by Taylor. “So why aren’t more people building apps for the mobile web? We hear from developers that there are three challenge areas that make it hard to build on the mobile web: app discovery, mobile browser fragmentation and payments.”
“Our hope is that Facebook Platform addresses the app discovery issue head-on – by connecting your app to Open Graph, all 425 million people who use Facebook’s mobile apps will be able to discover your app,” he adds. “We’ve been helping people discover iOS and mobile web apps since October, and as announced today in Mobile World Congress, we’ll soon extend this to native Android apps.”
The company revealed that it’s participating in the W3C Mobile Web Platform Core Community Group, which consists of over 30 device manufacturers, carriers and developers. The goal is to improve standardization for the mobile web. The participants include; Samsung, HTC, Sony Mobile Communications, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE, TCL Communication, AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica, KDDI, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp., Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc., NVIDIA, ST-Ericsson, Intel Corporation, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, Adobe, Netflix, VEVO, Zynga, @WalmartLabs, Electronic Arts, Sencha and Bocoup.
Facebook says it is making a new mobile browser test suite called Ringmark available, and is donating it to the group. Facebook worked with Bocoup on this.
In addition to all of this, Facebook says it is also working with operators around the world to make payments flows easier from mobile web apps, so that customers can easily make app purchases and be billed by their carriers. “This will be automatically enabled where carriers support it when you integrate the Pay Dialog into your app,” says Purdy.
Operators currently working on streamlined billing include: AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, KDDI, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp.