Facebook's top priority in the upcoming year will be to improve the experience of its mobile users, the company's chief technology officer Bret Taylor noted earlier this week at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco.
Taylor said that more than 200 million people regularly access Facebook through their mobile device, and that this group of users is nearly twice as active as those who check their page using a desktop computer, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While this is clearly good news, Taylor noted that it has created a bit of a fragmented user experience because Facebook has so many different mobile platforms -- each of which offers a specially designed look and feel. He said that when Facebook adds a new feature, the company needs to update seven different mobile platforms, including Android, iOS and touch.facebook.com.
“It’s an incredible challenge,” he said. “And there’s feature-skew."
So, Facebook's plan for 2011 is to rework its mobile platforms so that they all offer a similar user experience. To help with this transition, Facebook will look to HTML5.
"It is the future platform,” Taylor said of the Web standard. “That’s where we’re putting a huge amount of our resources.”
Taylor noted that 125 million of Facebook's more than 200 million active mobile users currently own a HTML5-enabled smartphone. That number should only increase in the coming year, he added.
In a separate interview with TechCrunch, Taylor indicated that Facebook is also working on creating a version of its site that is designed specifically with tablet devices in mind. As any iPad owner can tell you, Facebook doesn't have the same look and feel when it is running on a tablet.
“We need to make a tablet version of Facebook," he told MG Siegler of TechCrunch. "It’s something we’re working on right now.”
In related news, Facebook recently announced that it acquired Seattle-based Rel8tion to improve the company's mobile advertising service. Click here to read that story.
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Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.Edited by Tammy Wolf
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