Why Facebook Mobile is Meant to be Bad

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The Apple App Store was launched on July 10, 2008, and with it came Facebook for iPhone 1.0. Almost four years later and Facebook, recently valued at $100 billion, apparently still can’t afford a mobile developer who can roll out a bug-free app.

Facebook mobile has been through several updates on all mobile operating systems, each one bringing with it several pretty UI features but very little in the way of bug fixes. In fact, App Store reviews (which currently give an aggregate score of only 2 stars) complain that new bugs have been introduced with each rendition. Complaints are rife that simple strings of text can take minutes to load and pictures often remain fuzzy, forcing a squint as we try to identify our latest friend requests. Ghost notifications conjure little red badges at the top of our screens but lead only to an empty inbox.

Some compassionate souls have tried to explain away errors in the software with various excuses, most of which revolve around coding. But in the modern year of 2012 coding is more a tradition than a mystery.

Facebook is worth more than McDonald’s, Disney and Amazon.com, and yet the service it provides consumers is cheaper than a Happy Meal– in fact it’s completely free. The massive revenue Facebook accrues each year is not due to sales but advertising, and advertising is much less frequent on Facebook mobile.

Facebook has already discovered that mobile usage is soaring, stating, ‘daily active users [are] increasing more rapidly than the increase in the number of ads delivered’. With the company having just gone public, this poses a problem: any message a user replies to, any photo they upload, any status they like on the mobile platform is time not spent on the site proper, and that means less exposure to ads.

From Facebook’s point of view, for the time being, it’s good that Facebook mobile is bad.

Sources:

Wall Street Journal, Jaxov.com, Macrumors.com, Apple App Store

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