Facebook CEO: iPad Isn’t Mobile, No iPad App Yet

| Product News

During the press conference held by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and VP Erik Tseng announcing updates to the company’s iPhone app, the two executives revealed a key aspect of why there is no official Facebook app for the iPad yet. According to Mr. Zuckerberg, the iPad isn’t a mobile device.

To be more precise, as noted in the comments below, Mr. Zuckerberg said specifically, “iPad isn’t mobile,” which means that he doesn’t think it competes in the mobile phone space.

Which means that while Apple might consider iPhone and iPad as kindred spirits due to their shared OS, Facebook doesn’t. In fact, when Mashable’s Ben Barr said to the two execs that Apple would disagree on this issue, Mr. Zuckerberg said in his usual straight forward manner, “Well, sorry.”

Mr. Tseng then stepped in to say that the company is still trying to work out its approach to the tablet market, which suggests that Facebook is looking to bring Facebook to the tablet market as a whole in a unified way.

In the meanwhile, Mr. Tseng pointed out that users wanting to access Facebook on the iPad can do so through Safari. For those people wanting an app experience, there is Friendly for Facebook (US$0.99), Facebook Touch HD ($4.99), or if you just want to make status updates with an emoticon, Emoti HD for Facebook ($2.99).

Facebook on iPad Safari

Facebook on iPad’s Safari browser, with the names of the innocent blurred for their protection…

Comments

geoduck

As strange as it sounds it is a logical initial position for them to adopt. If they assume that “Mobile” means phones and such then the iPad gets lumped in with Laptops and Desktops. The latter can all use a normal browser to access Facebook.

It sounds a bit odd at first but it is a logical way to approach it.

Tiger

Geo, true. But couldn’t he have said it better? Tell the guy I saw in our campus quadrangle today using his iPad that it’s not mobile. They’re appearing everywhere, from the classroom, to the boardroom, to the hospital room. And with the new Square, how long until restaurants have servers using it to take orders and payments?

Talk about technology that is really customer driven!

aaberga

Well, yes; of course. The iPad is not mobile.
Let’s add more intelligent stuff to this phenomenal statement…

The moon is a huge piece of cheese.
Innocent people need their names to be blurred (or else you might know where they are partying right now) [btw: that was great!!].
FB apps are very secure.
Flash excels on mobile devices (it was born with them in mind, right from start).
Windows has revolutionized computing, without third ‘party inspiration’.

***

The fact that the Safari on iPad makes most sites accessible right away does not make it obvious that one should believe all the crap Mr. Zuckerberg is freely providing.

dhp

He was saying an iPad is not a mobile device in the same way one might say a laptop is not a mobile device. It’s no longer just an adjective; it’s a category. Of course a laptop is mobile, but since it has a full web browser, we don’t expect a special FB app for it. The guy on the campus quadrangle might use an iPhone, iPad, or laptop, but I have yet to see someone at, say, Target pull out an iPad and check her email.

Bryan Chaffin

Thanks for the note, dhp (and everyone else). My coverage did not offer the proper context for Mr. Z’s comments. I added a paragraph to clarify the point accordingly.

Thanks for the comments, all!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

but I have yet to see someone at, say, Target pull out an iPad and check her email.

Would you agree that such a person, if they did that, would be a giant dork? Now 7” pads, with only half the screen area, might be a different story!

xmattingly

“the iPad isn?t a mobile device”.

My iPod Touch would disagree with that categorization.

VaughnSC

Funny. Saw the announcement at the FB blog but can’t explain the iPhone screenshot (specifically the frame). Is there a 24” ‘maxiPad’ we don’t know about?

Bryan Chaffin

I hadn’t even noticed that, Vaughn. That’s kind of funny. smile

I would imagine, though, that the screenshot is from a real mobile phone photoshopped into that frame.

Bryan Chaffin

?the iPad isn?t a mobile device?.

My iPod Touch would disagree with that categorization.

I don’t think the Facebook guys would argue with the idea that the iPod touch is a mobile device. Indeed, the Facebook app they were touting at their mobile event runs on the iPod touch.

dhp

Would you agree that such a person, if they did that, would be a giant dork?

I don’t know. I haven’t seen her yet. grin

MacKeeper_fan_Mod

This %username%, I mean Mark Zuckerberg, has very interesting logical thinking. I won’t speak about his phrase that iPad isn’t a mobile device ‘cause here is already enough discussions on this theme. But why does he deprive himself of profit which he can get from starting of facebook on iPad? I can’t see any logic here.

geoduck

I just checked the AppStore and the Facebook App for iPhone/iPod Touch does run on the iPad. Between that and the regular Facebook page accessible via a web browser I don’t see the problem.

VaughnSC

I don?t see the problem.

That’s kinda like the ‘iPad is a giant iPod Touch’ reasoning. By that token, Apple should ship the same Mail app they use on the iPhone and nobody would bother catering to the iPad.

The truth is the iPhone UI is great for its intended use, a 4” screen, usually with a narrow, modal view. Apps designed for iPad are an order of magnitude more usable, because they can leverage the real estate and display more things simultaneously e.g, mailboxes and message.

[added a few seconds later]

Facebook did a pretty slick job tailoring the website, using CSS, to suit iPhone before the native app came out. Perhaps iPad doesnt warrant a native app, but a few tweaks in the browser for those things that favor the use of fat-finger-friendly buttons and avoiding the use of mouseovers as much as possible.

bweels

Perhaps iPad doesnt warrant a native app, but a few tweaks in the browser for those things that favor the use of fat-finger-friendly buttons and avoiding the use of mouseovers as much as possible.

Yes, exactly. eBay has an iPad app, but it’s so stripped down compared with the standard website that there’s no reason not to just use the website. It works fine. I’m sure that FB is thinking along similar lines, although he sure could’ve said it better.

xmattingly

I don?t think the Facebook guys would argue with the idea that the iPod touch is a mobile device. Indeed, the Facebook app they were touting at their mobile event runs on the iPod touch.

I probably should see the event; I don’t know if they might have a video posted online or not.

In any event, my point was that the only real “mobility” of a Touch is WiFi, which the iPad has. Zuckerberg’s excuse just seems like PR doublespeak for “we don’t want to invest resources into setting up an iPad app”, to me.

I still haven’t seen The Social Network. Maybe I should, and get a clearer picture of what’s wrong with the boy! :D

Lee Dronick

Sorry for the late post, but see today’s Joy of Tech comic.

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