First it was 104 million, now it’s 44 million. But despite the revision downwards, the number of active users of Facebook’s iPhone app, across all iOS devices, including the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, is still stunning.
The first figure was debunked by the social network itself, after it was displayed on its official page for the iPhone app. A statement later revealed it was a miscalculation, and that the 44 million figure accounted for actual users of the app, not simply those who had liked or commented on a post from the app, as was the case initially.
But that 44 million needs to be considered in context. As of June this year, there are 100 million iOS devices out and about across the globe. 59 million of those are iPhones. It means Facebook sits on nearly half of all iOS gadgets, making it by some distance the most popular app going for Apple’s kit, and one which is a must-have as soon as punters get access to the App Store.
Rumour has it that the Facebook iPhone app accounts for over half of all app use on the iPhone, meaning it’s an essential cornerstone of Apple blower’s success. Let it dwindle, don’t develop it, and the iPhone itself is under threat. That’s how important it is to Apple’s future.
The figures also show that Facebook on-the-go is becoming increasingly important. There are 500 million users of Facebook worldwide. Those 44 million iPhone app users account for 8.8 per cent of global Facebook fanatics. That’s a significant minority, and with Android and BlackBerry users growing too, it’s proof that the world of social networking is going increasingly mobile.
The recent arrival of Place for Facebook on the iPhone and at touch.facebook.com shows Zuckerberg and co already know this. The way we share stuff is far more valuable and interesting when we’re out and about rather than hunkered down at our desks, trawling YouTube to stave off boredom.
So what next for Facebook for iPhone? Perhaps deeper integration, as seen with Friend Stream on HTC Sense and Android. This would really bring the two parties together and create the ultimate mobile experience, as well as making it even easier to share media and anything else on your mind wherever you happen to be.
Also, the much talked of, but as-yet-unseen, iPad app needs to land soon. If the iPhone app can be such a raging success, then surely a well thought out version for the iPad would help sales of the tablet rocket even further.
These numbers tell us many things. But what’s most important is that Facebook as a mobile concern is now every bit as important as its desktop bro’. And as smartphones get better and tablets proliferate, it’s only a matter of time before mobile social networking becomes the norm.