Facebook dominates the mobile space


7 Apr 2011
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Sucheta Sanghvi owns an iPad, BlackBerry smartphone, laptop and a home desktop and the most used application across platforms is Facebook. The 36-year-old homemaker and amateur pastry chef believes: “The Facebook app on my BlackBerry is probably my most critical tool. I share my recipes, food pictures and even connect with friends using the same app. I don’t even have to access emails to keep up with what is happening around my world — it is all shared on Facebook.”
Smartphone analytics firm Smartmobi says Indian users access Google Search and Facebook the most from their handsets. “Facebook on mobile has seen an 11 per cent increase in traffic over the six-month period, while Google.com traffic shows a drop of four per cent. The reason for Facebook’s success could be the growing need to network and ease of sharing information.”
Facebook is aware of the development. There are more than 250 million active users across the globe accessing the site on their mobile devices. India has over 840 million mobile subscribers (or 70 per cent of the population) in May 2011, and almost 59 per cent of all users access the internet using mobile web, estimates MobiThinking.

Recently, the world’s largest social network also collaborated with Snaptu to launch Facebook for Feature Phones, an app that will be available for download on 2,500 handsets, including Nokia, Sony Ericsson and LG. Cashing in on the craze are telecom operators such as Reliance, Aircel, Airtel and Idea that are offering Facebook mobile application for up to 90 days without data charges.

One such user is Gurgaon-based Shipra Jena, who works at Aptara Techbooks. She maintains that Facebook is her favourite app on mobile phone. “The additional features such as ‘places’ (where users indicate their location or share maps of places they visit in real time), ‘chat’ (virtual chat with friends), ‘tagging’ and uploading pictures, among others, only make the app more endearing.”

Facebook for Feature Phones app aims to provide non-smartphone users similar experience to that of smartphone users, offering standard Facebook features like News Feed and Inbox messages and letting users upload photos and find friends from their phone contacts.

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