Facebook Snaps Up Snaptu

By Cindy Waxer March 21, 2011

Facebook has officially “friended” Snaptu by acquiring the four-year-old startup. Snaptu revamps websites into easy-to-use mobile apps that work on today’s more feature-deficient phones.

According to a Snaptu blog posting, “The Snaptu team is excited to announce today that we recently agreed to be acquired by Facebook…The acquisition is expected to close within a few weeks.  We’ll have more updates on Snaptu soon, and we’ll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone. During this transition period, we expect Snaptu will continue to operate as it does today.”

Snaptu has been a welcome addition to the nearly 75 percent of mobile users in the United States who still don’t use smartphones, tablets or sophisticated mobile devices.

Facebook teamed up with Snaptu in January to launch an app for features phones that works across 2,500 device models from manufacturers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and LG.

Earlier this year, TechZone360.com reported that Facebook's top priority in the upcoming year will be to improve the experience of its mobile users. At least that’s according to the company's chief technology officer Bret Taylor who commented on the social networking giant’s plans 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.

As a result, 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.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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