Big news from Facebook – Mobile & Social just merged.
Whilst last weeks London Facebook Studio Live was well received (Contagious have a good round up here), everyone was expecting big things from F8 last night – and we weren’t disappointed.
We got Timeline, Ticker and OpenGraph – with a bigger role for apps. And it looks like apps are now featured on the mobile experience for the first time.
We really need more time to play with this and think through the implications. But it’s clear that the ability to tag media (and other) content with read, watched, played, eaten etc will have a big effect on how people discover media. And that data will also be valuable for targeting ads. So Facebook just became even more critical for everyone in the content business
One thing that flew out was the fact 350 million people use Facebook on their mobile each month. So having all the apps available on mobile Facebook to that huge audience, changes the game in mobile. And it changes the game in social too.
We now have to think about developing content and services that are mobile ready, with social baked in.
And given the move towards HTML5 as the key way to build Facebook apps, we think this probably hastens the demise of native apps. It just doesn’t makes economic sense to build native apps for fragmented operating systems when you also have to build an HTML5 one for Facebook. Already a lot of the work we are doing with our friends in Brazil is around using HTML5 as the platform, with native integration only where necessary.
You can read the Timeline intro and watch the videos, just released, by Facebook here;
A New Class of Apps
Cnet have a good summary of all the announcements.
Other Facebook news – as a demonstration of how brands are embracing GAFA, we see our friends at Diageo have inked a big deal with Facebook for their plethora of brands.
TechCrunch have some interesting thinking around how the rumoured Spartan project (where Facebook build a HTML5 mobile platform to enable FB apps to work on mobile) could be a Trojan Horse that essentially converts your iPhone ( or your Android) into virtually a Facebook phone. This might need rethinking now, but well worth reading.
Big news from Google, too
Finally Google will start to reward mobile optimised sites by including this as a quality factor for adwords. So those big advertisers we called last week for wasting money by buying mobile ads that point to non optimised sites will now have to pay even more to stay at the top of the listings.
As a result of this change, ads that have mobile optimized landing pages will perform better in AdWords — they will generally drive more mobile traffic at a lower cost.
Of course the performance of natural search isn’t affected – yet – but we believe the instant previews on Google search are starting to influence traffic. And as Google point out;
61% of users are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone.
So what are the 70% ish of brands without optimised mobile sites waiting for? We’re happy to help
Other Google news;
Operator supported mobile money player Isis is still in there too – but they won’t launch until next year and to get some headlines they have announced that they’ll be on Android. We can’t imagine that Google are really worried about these guys.
This is a good round up of the current status in the UK where the operators look likely to announce their plans shortly. But of course we should expect that Apple might shake things up when they launch iPhone 5.
New phones imminent
The iPhone 5 launch is now expected to be October 4 – but it seems like Samsung might have something to say about this. Having had to delay the launch of their Tablet in some European markets due to Apple legal challenges, rumour has it they will try and prevent the iPhone 5 going on sale.
These patent battles are going to happen more and more. Interesting times.
Of course the iPhone isn’t the only new device expected shortly. The new Google Nexus will probably come out around the same time as will the first Nokia Windows phones., using the imminent mango update for Windows Phone 7
We’re very excited about how this market is shaping up. Consumers have embraced mobile and their new behaviours are affecting every sector of business. Smart brands are recognising that they need to change the way they build their brand, the dialogue they have with their customers and, in some cases, even how they sell their products and services.