Facebook today held a mobile media event, in which it announced, among other things, that it has roughly 200 million active members using its mobile products. Last year, that number was at 65 million. Facebook has some 500 million users in total, and now the company is claiming that its mobile population is bigger than the iPhone or Android user base. Mobile users are twice as active on Facebook as people who are using just PCs, the social networking giant also noted.
To capitalize on the growth, Facebook announced several updated mobile offerings for iOS and Android. The new iOS Facebook application, now at version 1.4.0, will get the new Facebook Groups implementation, easier location tagging of people, and the ability to link and upload photos to Facebook Places. The new Android application, now at version 3.3, will also be getting the groups and places functionality. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised the two mobile applications will be more or less on par going forward (the Android release was lagging behind prior to today).
Facebook's strategy, the company says, is to make the mobile phone a more social experience. Oh, and throwing in some shopping discounts never hurt; businesses can now offer deals to users via their phone via "check-ins" (22 major retailers have already signed up). Facebook also revealed plans for a single sign-on feature: users only need to log in to applications once with their Facebook name and password. As a result, third party developers now have the opportunity to easily add a social layer to their applications.