An important ally in Facebook’s drive to land on hundreds of millions of phones globally, independent app store GetJar said yesterday that it has brought the social network more than 100 million downloads.
While we don’t know how many of those users ultimately convert to monthly actives, it is likely a big share of the 200 million users who regularly access Facebook on their phones.
The two companies, who share a venture investor in Accel Partners, initiated a partnership last fall. Basically, if a Facebook user tries to access the social network on their phone, GetJar detects their device and finds the right native app for them. The two companies marked 50 million downloads in early April, so Facebook’s presence on GetJar appears to be pretty steadily increasing.
While GetJar may not be as well-known as the Android or Apple app stores in the United States, it is popular in emerging markets which are key for keeping up Facebook’s growth during the next few years. GetJar is also a gateway for Facebook users who don’t carry the iPhone. More than half of Facebook’s GetJar downloads are onto Nokia devices, although Android is the fastest growing platform.
Out of Facebook’s 200 million monthly actives on mobile devices, 52.6 million are on the iPhone and about 24.9 million are on Blackberries. We don’t know current Android usage, but Facebook said it had more than seven million monthly active users in June on the platform.
Facebook has been expanding the resources and staff it devotes to mobile over the past year. It hired away Erick Tseng, who shepherded Google’s Nexus One phone from concept to launch, to serve as head of mobile products and has been expanding the number of product managers on the mobile team. The company also launched a suite of new capabilities for third-party developers earlier this month including single sign-on, which makes it easy for users to log-on to an app through Facebook without typing in personal information.
Historically, the Facebook’s iPhone version has led feature development, with apps on other mobile platforms lagging behind. But with additional engineering resources, Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this month that he wants the social network to offer parity on Android and the iPhone going forward.
The company has also been negotiating partnerships with more than 200 carriers to offer the social network on mobile phones in more than 60 countries around the world. A centerpiece of that strategy includes 0.facebook.com, a low-bandwidth version of the social network for feature phones in developing markets.