Facebook attracts more than a billion mobile users each month and 66 percent of its revenues come from this channel. In fact, mobile users spend 20 percent of their mobile time on Facebook!
Facebook’s success on mobile, whether from the point of view of the audience size or monetization, is unparalleled.
Instagram and WhatsApp (acquired respectively in April 2012 and February 2014) are two other social apps also with phenomenal audience success, although several notches below. They’re not profit centers yet and will not be discussed here.
What about the blue giant’s mobile diversification strategy beyond the main app and purchased successes?
Facebook released an update to its news reader iPhone app Paper Tuesday, allowing users to more easily share the stories via Facebook messages, text or email.
The app has been well-liked among those who use it, earning an overall rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5). However, AppData download estimates show that Paper has fallen flat.
Facebook Paper for iPhone and iPod hit the iOS App Store this week and if you haven’t downloaded it, you should. It’s actually pretty great. So much so that it inspired me to pull together ten first impressions of what it means for digital marketers.
1. Facebook is a mobile company.
If there were any remaining questions about Facebook’s mobile chops after the Q4 earnings call, then Paper cements Facebook’s status as an elite mobile company. They know their future is mobile and this app shows they’re able to not only create a fun and elegant user experience, but as you’ll see below, illustrates that they can be very forward thinking about how mobile will impact their business going forward.
In juxtaposition to their miserable first mobile attempts, Paper fixes everything. Every detail is considered; world-class professionals have crafted this app.
The “unboxing” experience (if an app can be unboxed) is easy and helpful — no logging-in because iPhone already has my credentials; the intro video is sweet; the gestures are easy to understand and get the hang of; and the app’s personality (she’s sweet) suggests things as she discovers you might need help.
On Tuesday, Facebook will celebrate a decade of social networking. The company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has recently opened up in candid interviews with NBC’s Today Show and Bloomberg Businessweek about the future of Facebook.
As Facebook matures into the double digits, it appears that Zuckerberg’s beliefs are changing. For instance, the new standalone apps (such as Paper) Facebook is developing may not require users to use their real name.
Facebook’s rumored reader app, Paper, is coming to iPhones on Feb. 3, the company announced early Thursday morning. Paper is somewhat comparable to Flipboard, in that it’s a way for Facebook users to discover news and share it with friends on the social network. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in Wednesday’s Q4 earnings call that more standalone apps from Facebook are in the pipeline, and then the company launched one less than 24 hours later.
In a highly visual manner, users can scroll through the top stories of the day and see what stories their friends are sharing and talking about. These will include news stories from sources such as CNN and Huffington Post, as well as news from friends, relatives and other connections.
Developed by a team of about 15 people, Facebook is launching Paper first for the iPhone, and then will see what kind of feedback the app gets before considering rolling it out to Android or other devices.