Why is mobile such a challenge for Facebook? Well, for starters, 7,000 different device types are used to access Facebook each day. At today’s Facebook Ecosystem Conference, VP of engineering Mike Schroepfer said that part of the difficulty Facebook faces in reaching mobile users is just that there are so many different SKUs. As a result, Facebook can’t re-build mobile apps and iterate on the experience in the same way it does for the web.
Now that Facebook is on so many platforms, most of its focus is on refining the apps and making them better. Facebook generally pushes updates to its platform on the web every day or even twice a day, but that’s not something that the company can do for mobile. So the company is working on a new release schedule specifically for its mobile apps. Android apps are shipped every four to six weeks. Facebook for iOS isn’t quite on that type of schedule, yet.
That said, Facebook is seeing huge mobile adoption. Over the past 30 days, Facebook has driven people to the App Store and Google Play nearly 150 million times. And it’s integrated with a huge number of other apps in the ecosystem: Today, eight of the top 10 grossing iPhone apps are integrated with Facebook.
With so many different apps accessing its mobile ecosystem in existing app stores, Facebook remains mum on whether or not it will release its own phone. While not commenting on whether or not it’s building its own platform, Schroepfer said, “We want to be as well-integrated in these platforms as possible.”