This morning iTunes published a list of the top applications for 2008 and coming in second place was Facebook. The first place winner was Pandora who reported this morning that they hit their two millionth iPhone user yesterday afternoon. Considering that Facebook is following close behind, I can only assume that the application has attracted close to 2 million downloads.
This is approximately the number of active Blackberry application users as reported by the Facebook for Blackberry application page. While the iPhone platform is providing some developers with a great revenue stream, the reach is still much smaller than Facebook. If Facebook ever launches their highly buzzed about payment platform, my guess is that they will become a greater force to be reckoned with for any development platform.
With all the press about developers making a few hundred thousand in a couple months from the iPhone platform, it’s difficult to avoid the buzz. Facebook has even witnessed some of the top social gaming networks invest heavily in their iPhone presence, occasionally at the sacrifice of their Facebook presence. That’s not to suggest that Facebook isn’t a serious platform, it’s just that the only revenue model currently is advertising, and advertising on social networks is a hotly debated issue.
With the iPhone obtaining a large portion of the smartphone market it’s hard to ignore for any serious entrepreneur. Whether or not the iPhone is simply the next shiny object is unknown but it’s clear that Apple, Facebook, and all other platforms are battling hard for developer attention. As the Facebook iPhone application goes to show though, any platform can also be a great place for competing platform owners to play.