Nokia World, the mobile conference taking place now in Stuttgart Germany, to make a major announcement about the expansion of their Facebook Connect platform. According to Henri Moissinac, head of Facebook's mobile operations, the company is launching a new program called "Facebook Connect For Mobile Web." The Connect platform, which originally launched in 2008, is already available for traditional websites as well as Apple's iPhone. With this update, it can now exist for any mobile platform, too.Facebook used
Facebook for the Mobile Web
Mossinac describes the implementation of "Facebook Connect for Mobile Web" as simple. With only four lines of code, developers can add a Facebook Connect button to their app in order to make it more social. The only requirement for implementation is that the handset has to have a web browser. In other words, "any site, any application, and any platform" can now tap into Facebook's APIs.
During the speech, Mossinac revealed how successful mobilizing Facebook's website has been for the company. In the past month, Facebook saw 65 million visitors accessing the site from mobile phones. This includes access via the mobile website itself as well as from SMS and other specialized mobile applications. It also represents a dramatic increase from December when only 20 million mobile users were counted.
Currently, the company has deals with 180 mobile operators worldwide. The U.S., U.K., and Canada are the biggest markets. However, Mossinac said emerging markets are growing fast. For example, "Facebook Indonesia is on fire," he noted. "The metrics are amazing."
The announcement of the new mobile platform isn't just a play by Facebook to get more users to visit their site. The company's overall goal is to make applications - both mobile and otherwise - more social. "What we did for photo sharing, we are going to do for mobile applications," said Mossinac. He's referring to how Facebook introduced a way to make sharing photos a more social process. No longer do you have to visit a separate website and plow through photo after photo to find the ones of you and your friends. Instead, with Facebook's ability to "tag" photos, the addition of new and interesting photos to the social network are announced via messages posted to your News Feed.
By socializing mobile applications, you'll be able to share more about your off-site activity with your friends in much of the same way. This will be especially helpful for the mobile games market, as it allows you to invite Facebook friends to play with you while also sharing scores, stats, and other information to your profile. For game developers, it means one person playing a mobile application can spread the word about it among hundreds of their friends. In addition, Facebook Connect eases the sign-in process for apps by using your Facebook identity instead of forcing you to create a new account.
"Facebook Connect for Mobile Web" is only one way the company is expanding to other platforms. They plan to integrate their technology on every screen, including that of your TV (already available thanks to Verizon FiOS's new widgets) and your game console (another new arrival via Xbox 360's recent update).
Mossinac also announced the introduction of a new Facebook app for Nokia's Series 40 devices. The app will allow for status updates from a homescreen widget.