Our San Fran team was among the 5,000 people from across the world that went to the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Silicon Valley at the end of last week. The conference, themed around ‘connecting global innovators’, aimed to bring together mobile go-getters to discuss the shifts, challenges and opportunities for growth in the mobile industry.
One of the most interesting presentations was from Vaughan Smith, VP of Mobile Partnerships and Corporate Development at Facebook, who stated that mobile is the primary focus for Facebook at the moment. About time! Mobile’s growing faster for them than any other channel in terms of usage, they’ve have seen a 20% increase in mobile engagement in the past year, and now have 600 million mobile users.
Vaughan pointed out that Facebook is often the primary reason people start using the mobile internet and admitted that although they relied too heavily on HTML5 early on and focused all their attention there, they now have a more balanced approach, which includes native Facebook apps for different devices.
Was also interesting to hear the panel on mobile payments which featured speakers from RIM, Amex and Sequent. They discussed how mobile payments bring the point of desire closer to the point of purchase, reducing friction and making it easier to buy, and how the payment industry is already looking to other sources of revenue besides payment itself, such as advertising.