If any consensus emerged around the state and health of the Facebook platform, it was that the future of it is clearly on mobile devices.
Facebook chief technology officer Bret Taylor said today that his primary focus in 2011 will be building out the platform’s mobile presence. Top executives from the ‘Big 4’ developers — Zynga, Disney’s Playdom, Electronic Arts’ Playfish and Crowdstar — also said they’re moving their attention to mobile platform this year in a panel earlier today at our InsideSocialApps conference in San Francisco.
While Facebook has permeated half of the top websites in the world and fueled the growth of multi-billion dollar gaming companies like Zynga, its platform lags behind in reaching even the very best-selling mobile applications.
Taylor said the company had tremendous engineering challenges in ensuring an even experience across its all of its web and mobile presences. He said every time the company rolls out new features, it has to add them to seven versions of the same product: Facebook.com, m.facebook.com (which is optimized for low-end phones), touch.facebook.com (for higher-end, touch-enabled phones), the iPhone app, the Android app, Blackberry and numerous custom integrations of Facebook on other mobile devices.
“It’s incredibly challenging,” he said. “You end up picking and choosing platforms even though your goal is to reach everyone.”