Is Mobile Key for Facebook?


Here’s a question that’s on a lot of pundits’ minds: what effect will cell phones have on social networking platforms? For Facebook, that question is particularly sharp, given the company’s own Application Platform—and the latent potential of location-based mobile social networking.

As Josh Lowensohn wrote on WebWare, “[One year later] the Facebook platform is alive and well, but the hot new platform is the iPhone. People are lining up for hours to get their hands on one, and developers see dollars in those lines: Unlike with Facebook apps, you can charge for iPhone software, and developers keep 70 percent of the money collected through Apple’s app store.”

Lowensohn wrote that it would make sense “if the next step for the Facebook platform was a mobile version—something where whatever you developed would work on both desktop and mobile devices, starting with the iPhone and later Android. In that regard, Facebook’s mobile iPhone application is only the beginning, and just a preview of what’s to come.”

Sign us up—this is more promising, it seems, than any of a 1,000 random mobile social networking startups, all of which are locked into walled-garden approaches that are likely doomed from the start.