Whatever else Facebook has planned for its mobile presence, it is continuing to define how social networking is done across native applications on operating systems and on the mobile web. The company occasionally releases milestone numbers for overall mobile usage, and as you can see below compared against the total announced traffic numbers, mobile has quickly become a key part of what Facebook users do.
The most recent data that Facebook has publicly announced shows it having 500 million monthly active users as of July 2010, and 250 million on mobile in late March of this year. As you can see, mobile is now more than a third of all Facebook usage going by any numbers. (Note: We approximate the overall traffic number on the date of the last mobile announcement using data from our Inside Facebook Gold report. You’ll get an even steeper total if you use comScore’s data for the same period.)
Out of this growing mobile usage, Facebook is strong across native mobile apps and its mobile web site (along with any other services counted in the mobile total, such as custom SMS plans in some countries). We don’t have a precise way of breaking out the numbers from there, except that Facebook does publish monthly active and daily active users for native mobile clients.
Looking at these, you can get a more specific idea of its success.
As has been the case for years, its Facebook for iPhone app is in the lead, growing quickly and steadily to nearly 80 million MAU today. Even more striking is the fastet growing DAU count, at around 45 million. Its sticky ratio, already above 50%, is continuing to go up. When the company launches its iPad app, it could see even more users and engagement.
Android-powered devices are charging hard as well. The Facebook for Android app’s MAU is at 45 million and DAU is at 29 million, resulting in a sticky factor of above 60% (albeit falling somewhat over the months).
Blackberry, for all the company’s woes, has continued to show similar results to the other two platforms. Its Facebook for Blackberry smartphones app has more than 36 million MAU, and 24 million DAU. As with Androids, it’s very sticky at above 65%, although also seeing some declines.
Facebook doesn’t publicly break out what percentage of users access mobile web apps versus native apps, but if you add up the MAU and DAU of these top three native apps, you get 161 million MAU. Other client apps, including for Windows Phone, Samsung, SideKick, and webOS, contribute a much smaller amount, altogether in the single-digit millions. Given that these numbers are months after the 250 million official announcement, it’s quite possible that Facebook has at least another 100 million users now who are on the web app whether or not they use clients. There is a little bit of overlap though as some users who choose native apps also occasionally hit Facebook’s mobile website.
Facebook’s penetration on mobile, especially on smartphones, as well as its mobile web strength, suggests it has good potential for introducing more mobile-related features to users. It has already done this with the launch of its Places check-in service. Whatever issues around HTML5, Credits and other components have yet to be worked out for users and developers, clearly, Facebook has a big launching pad for a mobile version of its platform — whether it just adds it to the mobile web app, or if it also promotes it through its client apps.
See below for links to our coverage of Facebook’s mobile growth over the years, in reverse chronological order: