Forget about the Facebook IPO fumbling. Consider Facebook’s lethargic race toward the front of the mobile lines. The uneventful IPO may cause lost investor fervor; but some game-producing brands’ interests in Facebook have already been waning.
Let’s peer at Facebook’s friendship with CrowdStar Inc., an app development team. CrowdStar was developing games for the social media platform in 2010, ushering more than 50 million daily active users to the games.
That was then. Now, CrowdStar has stopped making games for Facebook. Why? Was it the less-than-too-eventful IPO? No, it has to do with Facebook’s ‘mobile problems.’ Wouldn’t you imagine usage of smart phones and mobile devices are absolutely exploding? They are; yet, Facebook’s games cannot be accessed through such means. That’s a big problem for CrowdStar. The brand would rather produce games for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, devices hosting games which can be accessed by users.
“We don’t see Facebook …as attractive a platform as we see the mobile platform, so we believe all our efforts in the future will be focused on the growth available in mobile,” states a brand representative. The Wall Street Journal reporter, Shayndi Raice, points out the obvious. Facebook takes a cut on game sales (30%- goods/services bought while playing). Game suppliers are paying a high tax…on games that can’t be accessed using popular, mobile methods.
Zuck, we know your company just went public on Friday and you got married on Saturday; but, it’s time to get back to work. Facebook has to play catch-up regarding mobile. Facebook’s 900 million users experience a different interface when reaching Facebook through mobile means. Admittedly, the social media brand has only experimented and theorized about how mobile ads will be implemented.
It’s understood that Facebook execs did not necessarily want to issue a full-blown app for mobile devices. Rather, the team wanted users to access Facebook through mobile versions of browsers. The reason is bi-focused. For one, Zuck’s team does not want to be dependent on other platforms. Secondly, the team wanted to issue one, universal mobile version of Facebook rather than have to morph versions due to the demands of respective devices.
Facebook’s immediate mobile issues seem to counter maneuvers recently made regarding the acquisition of Instagram and social discovery app, Glancee. Facebook needs to think about keeping pace with competitors Apple and Google. According to industry stats, iPhone sales are projected to reach 139 million this year (25 million in ’09). Android sales are expected to reach 364 million (7 million in ’09).