Why is facebook’s move such a BIG deal

Yesterday whilst I was doing a talk about mobile marketing and social media with #fasterclass (sponsored by Justaxi and UKFast) something happened. Mark Zuck from that little company called Facebook did something rather special. 

But apparently not very many people noticed. 

Mark Zuckerberg started off by saying that “this is going to be a different kind of F8,” and by different he meant no major product releases or changes in direction. Instead, he emphasized that they were now focusing on building a stable mobile platform that would allow developers to build, grow, and monetize their apps.

For people in that community – i.e. use app developers and marketing peeps – this news is really rather large. There are three main bits I think for us all at ideas like Justaxi – Manchester’s Taxi Comparison App. 

Launch of Official Mobile Ad Network

Facebook Product Management Director Deb Liu took the stage at F8 to announce the official launch of Audience Network. With over 1 million advertisers using Facebook, mobile making up 59% of the companies revenue, and over 50% of Facebook users only using the Facebook mobile app, many saw this coming.

The tool will allow advertisers to easily place ads into third-party apps and with a streamlined experience.

Zuckerberg said: “We’ve done a lot of work already in the past years to help you build and grow your apps. This is really the first time that we are going to help you monetize on mobile.”

This is one of the reasons I bought Facebook shares with EToro just before the announcement 🙂 I personally think Facebook are about to move into something really very very profitable. 

Cross-platform tool: Applinks

Some new tools were revealed that will make life much easier for developers as well. One I really liked is “Applinks” which allows developers to link to other apps with just a few lines of code.

Essentially this means that apps will no longer have to be treated like stand alone silos with users having to navigate out of them to find other apps. With just a few lines of code, developers can insert links to other apps in their own, allowing for users to switch back an forth at will.

For instance you could be in your Gmail App but flip over to Soundcloud to change a song and flip right back via a convenient “return to” banner at the top of your screen – all without having to open up a browser or new window to complete the action. This seamless lateral movement for users combined with the ease with which developers can now implement it makes it a win/win for everybody.

I think this means that apps will start to become more and more like the web and so hyperlinking will become the norm – between apps and experiences. Which for us at Justaxi.co.uk could be a HUGE thing if we start partnering with people like YELP. 

Commitment to Mobile

Facebook also unveiled three new features to help support mobile applications.

Send to Mobile is a feature that allows desk top apps to easily send a reminder to the user’s device and prompt them to install it there. So instead of the user having to first remember the app, then second, go on a quest in the Play store to find an app, they can simply tap it in their reminders to have it installed.

The Mobile Like Button is a can’t miss, light weight version of the old Like button we’ve all come to know and love. This optimized Like button makes it easier than ever for the mobile user to engage with mobile content. User familiarity with the Like button along with the growing user base on mobile made this addition a no-brainer.

The Message Dialog allows the mobile user to easily be very selective about who they are sharing content with. In essence, the message dialog takes on the role of a private share button, allowing you to share content privately with whomever you want to message.

Over all a very happy day for developers and Facebook. Hat’s off to you Mark Z. 

As for the new analytics in Parse – as soon as our tech guys at Justaxi.co.uk Manchester’s best taxi booking app – have had a look I will report on that too. 

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