Sandberg: 20 Million Users Now Accessing Facebook Through Mobile Platforms

One of the great untold stories about Facebook right now is the growth the company is experiencing in mobile use. While Facebook started 2008 with 5 million monthly active mobile users, that number had increased to 15 million monthly actives by November.

Today, at the Palm Pre launch event in Las Vegas, Facebook COO Sherly Sandberg announced that over 20 million users are now actively using Facebook through mobile platforms. Sandberg also said that Facebook’s mobile users were on average “50% more active” than the general Facebook population.

In addition, Sandberg said that Facebook Connect for Mobile, which was announced last July at f8 2008, would be coming in 2009. Early Connect applications have already emerged on the iPhone. However, while Facebook is working on a native Cocoa development kit for the iPhone, it’s not ready yet.

Facebook itself has been surprised by the rate of adoption of many of Facebook’s mobile features. For example, Facebook mobile engineer said late last year, “When we recently added the ability to comment on your friends’ status updates to the Facebook mobile site, we didn’t expect that we would receive nearly a million status comments in the first 24 hours.”

Today, Facebook operates multiple mobile services worldwide:

Facebook has yet to break out active users of its mobile services by country. However, it has been growing by leaps and bounds internationally, specifically in Europe and South America, throughout the last year.