On the surface, the news of Facebook’s (FB) new mobile app for Apple (AAPL) products doesn’t seem to be all that big of a deal. According to reports, the app looks nearly identical to the previous version but just operates much faster and smoother. So while the user experience is improved with more speed and a few other subtle improvements, there isn’t anything really groundbreaking with the upgrade, especially since there were no new revenue strategies that were unveiled with it.
Facebook has been feeling the pressure lately to grow its mobile-based revenues. In its most recent quarter, the numbers showed that the number of web-based users are actually declining. The giant social network’s major selling point has always been it’s large user base, even as it has been unable to efficiently monetize that base just yet. However, the migration of members accessing their accounts on their mobile devices rather than their PCs has forced Facebook to rethink their strategic approach.
“We are a mobile first company,” Facebook’s director of product Peter Deng told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. “Every single app we are building now starts with mobile.”
The company has been rolling out new features that may be able to more effectively tap into its membership to generate revenue. For example, subscription-based games may be one promising avenue as the in-game purchase model, which has been Zynga’s (ZNGA) bread and butter, is losing its appeal. A more aggressive feature is the sponsored results in search ads, which works similarly to Google’s (GOOG).
Facebook will need several of these and other new features to come up big as the company has quite a bit of ground to make up after watching its share price get halved since its IPO.