Facebook VP Of Corporate Development Vaughn Smith Discusses Facebook’s 180 On Mobile

By David Cohen 

Facebook’s focus on mobile ramped up significantly at the start of 2012, when the social network basically stopped listening to product reviews where mobile was not front and center, Vice President of Corporate Development Vaughn Smith said Friday at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in San Jose, Calif.

As reported by TechCrunch, here are the remarks from Smith:

Since the start of this year, if you turned up at a product review and showed anything other than mobile at the start or for the bulk of the presentation, you’d be asked to go back and do it again.

As recently as last year, 80 percent of a product review would talk about the desktop website. We pivoted our thinking to how can we create the right mobile experience first, and the desktop can catch up later.

Back in 2008, 2009, the way we worked on mobile was we had a small group of us, we probably fit on about 20 percent of this stage. And we all sat together, and our job was to take the Facebook website and convert it to mobile. We copied it and converted it over. Since January, we’ve completely changed the way we do product development. We’ve trained all our engineers to do mobile first. So what you see is that at the start of the year, most of the mobile code submissions were coming from the bigger team I talked about. Now most of the mobile code submissions are coming from the teams responsible for news feed, messenger, timeline, or whatever product we happen to be rolling out. That’s a huge change for us.

It’s funny to reflect back that in the first quarter of this year, we had no ads on our mobile product. When we see people make the switch from using Facebook on desktop to mobile … they spend 20 percent more time on Facebook.

Readers: Has Facebook’s commitment to mobile translated into its applications and ad offerings?