When Facebook filed for its IPO earlier this month, it revealed that it has 425 million mobile users. That massive presence on phones and tablets has translated into success for many others, the social network says, since Facebook’s mobile platform sends more than 60 million people to third-party apps every month.
In a post on the company’s developer blog, Facebook’s head of mobile developer relations, James Pearce, says that since Facebook revamped its mobile platform in October last year (which included the launch of its iPad app), it’s resulted in a big uptick of users interacting with apps and games outside of Facebook proper. The 60 million people who visit apps from Facebook create more than 320 million “visits” on those apps.
While many of those visits are to popular games such as those made by Zynga, Pearce cites the social app Foodspotting as an example of an app success story. By letting users sign in with their Facebook login and creating an app that integrate’s with Facebook’s Open Graph, Pearce says Foodspotting has seen the number of visits and activities shared via the social network increase by a factor of three.
As a more recent example, Yahoo built Open Graph into its desktop and mobile web apps, so visitors could see on Facebook which Yahoo News articles their friends had been reading. Since Feb. 14 — not even two weeks ago — traffic to the mobile Yahoo News web app has gone up by 3.5x.
The post comes right before Facebook appeared at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor said the company is working to help create standards to make developing web apps easier. That would help fuel Facebook’s mobile influence even more, since developers wouldn’t need to create separate apps for every platform (iOS, Android, etc.) and just integrate Open Graph with a web app to reach Facebook’s huge audience.
Of course, the one thing Facebook hasn’t yet revealed is how it’s going to tie advertising to its mobile platform. In Facebook’s IPO filing, the company said it didn’t serve ads through any of its mobile products — yet.
What do you think of Facebook’s growing influence in mobile? Is it a boon to developers, or should they be wary of putting so many eggs in the Facebook basket? Tell us what you think in the comments.