How Facebook's Mobile Platform Raises The Game

With over 350 million active users accessing Facebook from mobile devices monthly, the recently launched mobile platform has instantly become the largest in the market.

Here’s why the Facebook’s newest mobile platform is changing everything for the better.

Distribution

On the desktop, Facebook gamers spend an average of 55 minutes per game session. Needless to say, hardcore gamers invest a lot of time on Facebook and being able to now access the same game from the mobile device is incredibly powerful.

What’s more, developers can acquire users on the desktop version of their app, and bring them easily over to mobile. Developers are also able to acquire users regardless of which smartphone platform they are on since all will support HTML5 apps.

Social App Discovery

App discovery in stores just plain stinks. Stores like the iTunes App Store and Android Market basically operate as virtualized retail stores with developers fighting for shelf space or in this case, a spot on a featured apps list or a top 25 ranking.

Achieving a top 25 ranking or a featured spot often requires a large marketing budget or editorial preference from the specific app store. With Facebook’s mobile platform and its ability to facilitate social activity in app stores, the game is changing.

Now users can actually see what their friends are playing, invite others to play, post achievements to their walls and spread the word virally. This is incredibly powerful, as we all remember how Zynga was able to leverage social channels to dominate Facebook desktop gaming.

Payments

It’s clear when it comes to mobile payments Apple got it right with its in-app payment process. The same cannot be said for Android. But now that Facebook has enabled Credits on mobile devices, all mobile platforms have a credible payment solution.

With millions of credit cards on file and a trusted brand name, Facebook in enabling users to pay for virtual goods with a single click on the mobile web. It has taken years for Android to get decent payments. But Facebook Credits provided the mobile web with a great payment solution on day one.

User Experience

The native versus HTML5 debate will continue to rage on, but the fact is that HTML5 social games look and work great on most smartphone browsers.

So long as the user experience is similar to that of a native app, the user could care less what technology is driving engagement. It is clear HTML5 can’t currently do intense first-person shooters, or racing games as well as a native app, but for lightweight, fun social games, the user experience is great.

And with HTML5, users can play and share with all of their friends. That is the best social game experience.

Now that Facebook is fully behind HTML5 app development we’ll see a huge increase in developers building games and apps in HTML5, because they know Facebook’s Mobile platform will provide the largest mobile audience.

Guest writer Stewart Putney is chief executive officer of Moblyng Games.

Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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