Facebook has 845 million users and it’s believed that over half of them access their profiles and those of their Friends using a smartphone or other portable device. This makes glaring sense if one remembers how much there is to like about the iPhone we clutch every day, but for Facebook, that elementary fact poses a risk that’s big enough to merit inclusion in its celebrated IPO filing.
Facebook’s whiz engineers are already trying to figure out what to do about it. Remember the rumor about the Buffy — the Facebook cell phone? Facebook has good reason to get to business on this matter because its future growth lies in countries that really dig their mobile devices. People in Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, and other similarly positioned markets are active on Facebook and they like to conduct Web errands and online presence maintenance tasks on their phones.
Research findings by eMarketer suggest that compared to last year, advertising spending on mobile devices in the U.S. will rise by 80 percent. Another not-to-be-missed market indicator: in 2011, smartphone shipments were higher than those of personal computers. Some analysts are saying that the key to this dilemma will be found in location-based innovations. In any case, although Facebook has been criticized for not releasing an iPad app until last fall, the company’s deliberate pace has already proved to work in its favor.