Mobile Facebook users hit 150 million

Phone-based platforms are a major focus of the company, Facebook's mobile chief says

Facebook has about 150 million mobile users, up from just 100 million in April, and is counting on cell phones as the key platform for the future, according to the social-networking giant's head of mobile products, Eric Tseng.

"Mobile is fast becoming our growth lever," Tseng told attendees at the MobileBeat 2010 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had pegged the number of mobile users at 100 million at the f8 developer conference in late April. Facebook has about 500 million members overall.

Over the next six months, Facebook's mobile platforms will "catch up" with its PC browser-based interface. Among other things, the company will soon update the application programming interfaces for its Android and iPhone apps, Tseng said. The company is also working to expand its "social graph," which extends features of Facebook onto other sites, to take advantage of mobile use. For example, a lunchtime promotion for a nearby restaurant might become more effective if it incorporated ratings by a mobile user's Facebook friends, he said.

But mobile may be even more important beyond the smartphone-heavy developed countries, according to Tseng. In many poorer countries, mobile devices are the first on-ramp to the Internet for most consumers, and Facebook is developing ways for them to become members and use the social network without ever starting up a PC.

Working with Indian carrier Airtel, Facebook set up a mobile-only user experience in which the carrier's subscribers can join Facebook on a phone. The company is even experimenting with serving subscribers that don't have data plans, running a trial in which one carrier is allowing subscribers to browse the stripped-down, text-only 0.facebook.com mobile service free of charge. This has drawn users into Facebook while also getting them into the mobile data world, Tseng said.

In what may be good news for Facebook users, Tseng said the company has no interest right now in putting ads on mobile Facebook, because it's still focused on expanding mobile use. However, it would be fairly straightforward technically to do so, he added.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicestelecommunicationmobile phonessocial networkingmobileinternetFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?