Life happens in real time, and so should sharing. Today's mobile phones allow people to connect on the go and to share interesting moments as they happen all around them.
Earlier this week, when the Giants won the World Series, revelling baseball fans took to the streets of San Francisco. I immediately grabbed my phone to take pictures and to share them on Facebook. Within minutes, I had friends liking and commenting on my photos--instant gratification from a truly social, mobile experience....
I'm not alone. Last month, we reached a major milestone: 200 million people around the world are now actively using Facebook from a phone, more than triple the number just one year ago.
Today, we're taking another step forward in enriching your mobile experience with major updates to both our Android and iPhone applications, as well as with the launch of single sign on--a hassle-free way to log in to mobile applications.
Places and Groups for Android
The new Android 1.4 update includes the launch of Places and Groups. With the launch of Places, you and your friends can now check in to your favorite restaurant, museum, business or any other location from your Android phone.
Following on the heels of our launch of Groups on Facebook.com less than a month ago, you can now access those same groups from your Android phone. Create a group for your poker buddies, and organize an impromptu game this weekend just by messaging the group from your phone.
Android 1.4 also includes a refresh to the notifications application, one of the top requests from our users. Clicking on a notification now won't send you off to the browser. Instead, as long as that notification has an appropriate destination within the application itself, you will be taken there.
Find Deals on iPhone
Using Places on the iPhone already lets you share where you are and find nearby friends. Now with the iPhone 3.3 application, you can also find nearby deals from your favorite businesses--from restaurants down the block to major retailers. Deals are only available from Places in the U.S, for now, and we'll be expanding them to more merchants over time. Learn more here about the initial offers from businesses using Facebook Deals.
In addition, Places has been updated to include a starred friends list, making it even faster and easier to tag friends with whom you frequently check-in--no more searching and scrolling.
iPhone 3.3 also includes the launch of Groups, as well as a new composer to make checking in and posting photos faster and more clear.
Single Sign On
Now when you're logged into Facebook, it's easier for you to log in into other applications on your mobile phone with single sign on. Gone is that tedious annoyance of having to type in your username and password again on a tiny phone keyboard. Gone are those frustrating moments when you forget one of your many username and password variations and can't access an application.
Here's how single sign on works (video): Just log in to the Facebook application on your mobile phone once. From then on, you can log in to any other application on your phone that supports single sign on without typing a username or password again. This works on any Android phone or any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch device that supports multitasking (most iOS4 devices).
Our goal is to save you time so you can get to what you want to do.
Starting today, you can try this new experience yourself with any of these Android apps: Flixster, Groupon, Loopt, SCVNGR, Yelp and Zynga Poker. iPhone apps will soon be available with single sign on. Going forward, expect even more apps to launch with this functionality.
For so many people, their mobile phone is already the most social device in their lives. It's our hope that single sign on and new updates for Android and iPhone will make the phone even more personal to you, so you can bring your friends with you wherever you may go.
Erick, head of mobile products at Facebook, is freeing up space in his head from all the login passwords he no longer has to remember.