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Facebook's Future in Mobile

Some of the billions that Facebook is expected to earn from its IPO could go to furthering its position in the mobile market.

Facts and figures
Facebook's price per share for its initial public offering is US$38, which means it will raise about $16 billion from the offering.

What will Facebook spend the money on?
With billions on hand, Facebook has plenty of M&A options. Recent acquisitions, however, suggest the company will look to extend its mobile technology capabilities or audience -- or both.

The $1 billion Instagram acquisition in April is the obvious indicator of Facebook's desire to grab a wider wireless audience through the mobile photo-sharing app's base of more than 30 million users on the iPhone and Android.

Facebook, however, bought another mobile startup in April, TagTile, a mobile loyalty and rewards startup, based in San Francisco. The buy-out was quite different from Instagram -- TagTile offers retailers a hardware reader that can earn customers points when they tap their iPhone against it -- but shows the breadth of Facebook's mobile ambitions.

In fact, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company's recent IPO roadshow that his top priority is to improve Facebook's mobile applications, according to MSN. The company has been regularly updating its own apps for better smartphone functionality but that doesn't preclude another buy to add software talent.

Light Reading Mobile has already identified Pinterest, WhatsApp, Mocospace, Evernote Corp. and Square Inc. as five of the hottest mobile acquisition targets around. Any one of these companies would give Facebook millions of additional users.

A Facebook phone?
Of course, it has been widely rumored that Facebook is working on its own smartphone, a venture that could definitely burn some cash. The latest gossip centers around Facebook collaborating with High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) on a new branded phone. These days, though, users would be hard pressed to find a smartphone that didn't provide easy access to Facebook.

For more

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:32:43 PM
re: Facebook's Future in Mobile

Think they're already heading down that path with the TagTile buy.

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:32:43 PM
re: Facebook's Future in Mobile

Facebbok has a massive audience and the vast majority will have a mobile deviec of some sort.


What facebook needs to figure out is how people are using facebook on mobile devices and how they are using those devices for transactions.


If facebook puts its social platform + analytics + mobile payments together then it'll have a stronger position to move with the times.

larryla 12/5/2012 | 5:32:42 PM
re: Facebook's Future in Mobile

obvously key to FB future.


HTML5 tools for FB developers?


As much accurate and in depth mobile analytics as possible


Mobile billing capabilities - esp. aligned to mobile carriers / mobile web 


LL 


 

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:32:42 PM
re: Facebook's Future in Mobile

Re: "Mobile billing capabilities - esp. aligned to mobile carriers / mobile web"


 


SPIT on Facebook. Ha.


macster 12/5/2012 | 5:32:38 PM
re: Facebook's Future in Mobile

Am still wondering how FB will make advertising dollars from smaller screens???Yup, new revenue sterams needed, but prospects in mobile transactions, etc.?


P.S. I wouldn't buy Whatsapp. Viber makes more sense.

Soupafly 12/5/2012 | 5:32:37 PM
re: Facebook's Future in Mobile

@ ray; Your quote; "What facebook needs to figure out is how people are using facebook on mobile devices and how they are using those devices for transactions"


Is the primary reason CarrierIQ and a host of others are baked into apps & phone OS platforms.


Ultimately, its where do FB want to play?


If you believe as I do, that Social networking is effectively just glue. Its monetising the human need to communicate & providing an effecient way to do that.



Starting from that premise, transactional capability would make sense as would integrating content in a meaningful way. (e.g; Content recommendation & syndication, etc.) and surely the elephant in the room is Video?


The web is awash with it, CDN's are groaning with it, YT is a google centric play... so FB must do something in the Video space, for me.



Who should they buy? ... No idea! It depends on, budget, strategy, org fit and capability. If it continues to be just about users & MZ's mood on the day..... then M&A will fail to deliver & that will erode MZ's credibility.


SF






joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:32:35 PM
re: Facebook's Future in Mobile

Yeah, video and video chat seems like an important devlopment area for facebook.

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