With over 700 million users worldwide it seems like the right time to get into the mobile scene while it is still growing. By 2014 analysts say that over 1 billion people will have smart phones and Facebook’s reach will be greater based on current trends. More after the jump.
Facebook’s latest project, Project Spartan is a web based platform that’s seeking to eliminate app stores altogether. On the web front they already have a majority of developers using Facebook credits. On the mobile side they have the potential to take a huge chunk out of Apple through bypassing the app store and enticing users to use their mobile web browsers. With over 80 developers signed on board from Zynga to Huffington Post there will not be a shortage of apps and services people are already familiar with on the web. The following are the areas where Facebook can have an impact on Apple’s App Store (as well as other app stores):
1) Web Openness – Project Spartan’s foundation in HTML5 will allow consumers to engage with content on any device and platform. Bypassing the appstore/markets and keeping their 30% along with bringing more openness of the web to developers and 700 million people. With Apple’s strict and questionable rules, it might be a turn off to developers wanting more freedom.
2) Virtual Currency – Facebook Credits are slowly becoming prevalent. The latest news by Microsoft Bing to allow users to earn reward points for using Bing and converting those points into Facebook Credits could help flood our economy with credits that can be spent in many ways. All the games/services across the platform can use just 1 currency. This is a huge plus for some as they could play multiple games and don’t want multiple currencies.
3) Social Integration –As HTML5 integrates on a deeper level with native smartphone features, consumers will have a plethora of choices to use NFC or any other capabilities phones/tablets offer and share with friends. This is great especially as you you can message texts and send mail. Apple and Android do not have these features baked in and it is up to the developer to integrate these features. Based on flurry’s analytics it is said that 80% spent on mobile applications were between games and social networking.
4) Music – Online music services like Spotify, Pandora, and last.fm hosting as music dashboard. These services could all be bundled with Facebook’s platform to allow users to stream their own music and share with friends. This can lead users to explore more parts of the site.
5) Rankings and Discovery – With over hundreds of millions of players across so many games on Facebook, Apple could undergo stagnant growth on Game Center and potentially miss out on tons of ad impressions. This leaves Apple, Google, and other app stores with less revenue. Distribution on mobile has been limited in the sense that there are too many third party solutions that haven’t gained much traction especially with the crack down of Apple incentivized installs. Basically it is much harder to buy your way to top of the app store than it is to optimize a viral channel. If Facebook could provide a different rank system