The recent announcement from Facebook about offering FB Connect for iPhone — I think this is a step in the right direction. Some of the core functions:
My one comment is when this will be available for the rest of the mobile world? In February, the Facebook/Nokia press announcement about partnering to bring Social Networking to mobile made great “sizzle” but where’s the meat? Facebook hit 200M users, but that still pales in comparison to the 3+ billion mobile users globally. *This* is the place of true expansion. Having users in developing countries on their Internet-connected device will be a mobile phone, not a PC. Even with the best intentions, Apple claims that it will sell approximately 30M devices by the end of 2009, that only represents 1% of all mobile subscribers out there.
What if Facebook were to embrace a larger global expansion by building clients for feature phones and other devices so it could increase their footprint 10x? What would result from this? Perhaps it might be the first time where picture message finds a problem to solve. Lots of people are taking pictures with their camera phones, but they need a better way to publish and broadcast their photos. The expense of sending multiple MMS messages becomes too cost prohibitive, so why not upload to Facebook and manage which groups can see your Albums/Photos? Text messages would also increase to send status updates and posting Wall messages and comments. Application guys would suffer like RockYou, Zynga initially, but I’m sure they would figure out an application delivery and micro-transactions/data delivery accordingly. If one thing is true, based on the medium, all of these folks will innovate.
Facebook Connect, you really need to hire people who know about mobile, other than iPhone. While you want to support hip people with iPhones and early adopters to join Facebook, the real money is to target all the other devices out there. I’m sure that partnerships with Mobile Operators are in the works and could prove to be a lucrative deal for fighting customer churn and additional revenue.