Facebook aims to create platform for mobile app development

VentureBeat
Speaking at an industry conference on Tuesday, Erick Tseng, Facebook’s head of mobile products, said the company is moving away from a “one-off app strategy.” Instead, the company wants to make it easier for independent developers to build mobile services that integrate with Facebook’s social networking features.

Kim-Mai Cutler reports that Tseng and Facebook are looking to create a mobile platform for app development similar to what the company did on the desktop Web. Cutler indicates that platform is now supported by “550,000 applications and 1 million developers.”

Tseng told the conference that 150 million users globally now access Facebook on mobile devices and that tying location closer to social networking would help accelerate that growth:

“If you can actually layer on top of [location] some kind of social intelligence — not just the fact that I’m near Starbucks, but the fact that 30 of my friends really like this frappuccino over the last couple months — I’ve got an interesting use case,” he said.

With 500 million users worldwide, Facebook is positioned similarly to AOL in the mid-1990s: to many of its users it is the Internet. While a relatively small population uses “check-in” services such as Foursquare and Gowalla, a location-based service popularized within a Facebook mobile platform could tip the market and gain mass acceptance.

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