Facebook is huge on mobile — as an application developer. But questions have circled for years around how it can be a real mobile platform on top of operating systems controlled by Apple and Google. But we got a little more data on what it’s already accomplishing on the platform front, today at the Inside Social Apps conference here in San Francisco.
Facebook product director Carl Sjogreen said on stage that out of the 425 million monthly mobile users that it currently counts, 60 million are going to third party apps. And this isn’t just once a month apiece — this is 320 million times total per month, which means an average of five times per user.
I couldn’t get more details on how these numbers break down, except that they do not include Facebook’s own native or web apps. Rather, they seem to mean any mobile app that has somehow integrated Facebook. So, like what Zynga has done with the mobile version of FarmVille, or how you can find Facebook friends to add to Path, or any number of other implementations out there.
Facebook’s goal as a company is to create a social layer on top of everything, everywhere. For mobile, it already offers a variety of platform-style options including login identity, social channels including requests, the news feed, bookmarks, search, social plugins and email. Many of these features only became available in October. The numbers today mean that this stuff is getting some traction. Mobile app developers, maybe it’s time to look closer at how to use Facebook for your next update.