Zuckerberg: No Facebook app for iPad because it's not mobile

Mark Zuckerberg was asked about a Facebook app for iPad today during Facebook's mobile event, and his response to Mashable's Ben Parr was that the iPad isn't mobile. Parr countered that Apple would disagree with Zuckerberg, to which Zuckerberg said "well, sorry". Former Android lead and current Facebook mobile head, Eric Tseng then intercepted the question and said they were still working on their strategy for tablets and that, as a new form factor, it required a new approach. Parr extrapolates:

The real hint to Facebook’s iPad plans, though, is that Tseng focused on the form factor and not iOS. This could mean that Facebook’s looking to build an HTML5 version of its website optimized for tablets. At the very least, Facebook seems intent on keeping a consistent experience across all tablet devices.

In the meantime though, Tseng points out that Facebook is accessible via the iPad through the official website (which is pretty darn functional) and through touch.facebook.com.

Whether iPad is "mobile" or "portable" is debatable. What's not debatable is that iPad runs a mobile operating system, iOS, which doesn't allow websites to access the Photo picker, so you can't upload pictures or video. You need (forgive me) an app for that. And using the iPhone app on the iPad just isn't a great user experience.

Twitter understands this. Many third party Twitter app developers understand this. Frustrated users certainly understand this. The question is, why doesn't the 20-year old billionaire genius get it?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Zuckerberg: No Facebook app for iPad because it's not mobile


Argue whether the iPad is mobile or not all you want, but the iPad needs a Facebook app regardless. Does Safari let me upload photos? No. Do I care about links to applications that don't work on mobile Safari? No. Should I have to tap on account names twice to get to their page? No. Should tagging a user in a post always work? Yes.
I can keep going.

Rene, You're blaming the wrong person. Why doesn't IOS for the IPad allow websites to access photo pikcer. You should be blaming Steve Jobs .. but of course he's your GOD, so you wouldn't.
Steve Jobs gave you a big lecture about how Ipad's are better than Netbooks yet it can't do a simple function like that.

This isn't an Apple lacks functionality debate this time, it's a Facebook being lazy and arguing a point that doesn't exist debate. Netbooks will run native web browsers and file systems, so your argument isn't really fair to begin with. I'm not saying that because I worship steve jobs either, i'm saying that because facebook IS lazy. look at their iPhone updates, they're minimal, buggy, lack features etc.. they always have. that's their scapegoat, and they'll use it as long as they can. Heck, even their internet website has constant vulnerabilities that they have to patch or fix. The iPhone update just released was garbage and minimal. And from what i hear, the android update or app wasn't great either
An iPad is not a netbook, it is not meant to be a netbook (in my opinion, I think netbooks are a waste of time, if an iPad does what you need, get that or a playbook or android tablet - if it doesn't, get an actual laptop, you'll be happier in the long run). But the iPad DOES do what most people want it to do in a smaller form factor. Yes, there are still bridges to gap. For Apple to have 95% of the marketshare for tablets, that's tremendous. But I will agree some functionality needs to be added to make the overall experience better.

Yet another reason why I use Twitter but not Facebook. Zuckerberg obviously just doesn't get it.

@jerry: do you mean "why doesn't Safari on iOS support file uploading?" It already has the ability to copy photos to the device, as well as a website to store images in a local database.
I would love to Safari in iOS to support local storage uploading via HTML's file upload feature, but not for a site to simply access whatever it wants from my camera roll and albums.

Facebook's not mobile - damn it! Does that mean that I can't use it on my mac anymore or my work laptop or desktop. Life's just not worth living any more... MEH!

Not to debate whether iPad is mobile or not, but if they choose to focus on HTML5 for cross platform tablet form factor isn't that better? A more uniform experience across hardware and OS

They're trying to work out a way to rip off all your data first before they release a Faceplant App for tablets.

It seems like the people over at Facebook are going to be getting a lot of mail about this... iPad not mobile? Well, I say fooey!!

If the iPad is so great for browsing the web then why do you need an app at all? What's wrong with the full website?

Obviously Zuckerberg is an idiot. They hold a hugely publicized PC in what looks like a high school classroom with an overhead projector. All to announce they are releasing practically nothing. Steve Jobs is probably laughing at FB. What a joke!!

He meant mobile in the sense of smartphone size mobile. He did say he considered the ipad a computer which is what many ipad owners have been trying to say.
But is it even relevant to the whole issue of whether ipad needs an app? No. Even the iphone app bumped up to universal mode would be a start.

ZUckerberg is a tool. I agree with this blog entry - why does everyone else get it yet he doesn't.
Why is mobile such a key anyway - doesn't he want people to use his service? Is it all about check-ins now, or do they actually have other services available via facebook... (remember photos, status updates etc?)
I enjoy facebook but get tired real fast with all the BS on it... now its just political crying and arguing. Having a leader with such lack of vision makes me think I'm spending time on the wrong social service.

Zuckerberg needs to pull his head out of his ass and actually get something out to his customers that works properly. Of course though he doesn't see the Facebook users as his customers, he sees his advertisers as his customers, and those guys aren't that fussed about an iPad app.
Facebook is overloaded with crap, its a different kinda crap than myspace, but its crap nonetheless.

How many people viewed or read the announcements? Judging by some responses, not a lot.
Did Zuck say its not mobile? Yes. Is that what was meant? No. He was specifically speaking on mobile phone platforms today. Was calling it not mobile an error? Perhaps. But, he calls it a "computer" because it wasn't what he was there to talk on today. He said that, killed the topic and carried on. Like any good keynote speaker would when avoiding a question.
As for the setting being a college library lookalike, it was meant to look like that for the setting of the announcement. Why look "homey" when you're talking mobility?
As for whomever stated lack of iPhone functionality and abilities and last to update... Are you kidding me?! Where do you think they test everything first on mobile phone platform? It's sure as hell not BlackBerry. Know how I know? I'm newly reformed from there. There is lack of support and functionality. FB Places is available on iPhone, until today's Android inclusion, exclusively. I get more FB updates, in 2 months, more then I did on BB in 2 years! Don't believe me? Grab a friends BB and try using FB app. You'll be above thankful for what we have!

He does not understand it because he is a 20-year old billionaire .. what he does understand is what makes him a 20-year old billionaire.

Lastly, anyone wanting to mention iOS platform as "mobile", (ie. iPhone AND iPad)... Grab your new Apple TV and go mobile.

i don't want an ipad (well unless someone give me one free) i don't have macs just an ipod. i don't evne have an iphone but i'm so sick of these guys getting into these stupid semantic battles and mudslinging pissing contests. it hurts the users and accomplishes nothing. and i'm at starbucks right now and theres a guy with an ipad behind me. so someone thinks it's mobile. by the way i'm typing this on my laptop and it's fricken mobile too.

Yes..why do you need an app for facebook when browsing the web is so great on the ipad?? Why not just utilize the actual web site??

Or is it the fact that the ipad just doesnt provide a complete web browsing experience? And facebook should create an alternative for apple?

So facebook should spend money developing an app so you can upload pictures and video from a device without a camera? If that is your must-have use case vs the mobile site, then you are the one that doesn't get it.

It seems iPad is behind the curve in some things, and way ahead in others. Facebook needs a iPad app. They are missing out.

The photo upload part of the Facebook site uses Flash, so no photo uploading with Safari on iOS.

This is actually more an iOS limitation then it is a Facebook enforced issue. I can link of at least two other mobile OSes that allow facebook photo and video uploads from the photo and video viewers themselves. You don't need to go to the facebook site or load the facebook app to be able to upload them.

The iPhone app and mobile versions of the website (m.facebook.com and touch.facebook.com) are all missing functionality of the main website. The reason why they exist is because they are designed for the small screen of a cell phone. iPad's screen is big enough to display the full website with no problem. I think that is what Mark said when he meant that iPad is not mobile. To create an iPad app that would support all features of the website would be a huge duplication of effort and it makes perfect sense to me why Facebook refuses to do it. Instead, they should just tweak the full website to work flawlessly on the iPad. Since iPad does not support uploading photos via the browser, there should be a separate iPad app just for that purpose.

Not mobile?? What my 3G iPad is not mobile? Lol this is what happens when you have kids running a business. Good move suckerburg.

Ok I can see all the idiot fanboys are crying and putting the blame on FaceBook when clearly they should ask Apple why Safari isn't a REAL browser.
iPad is NOT mobile. I dont care if you have a 3G version of it. Mobile means a device such as iPhone or Nokia N97 or Droid , where it was built primary as a CELL PHONE unit.
Mobile doesn't mean PORTABLE that can tap into wifi or 3G networks.
If that'd be the case then a PSP , DS , kindle and even the MyFordTouch on a 2011 Ford Edge would all be mobile and should have their own apps.
Get a grip people. Facebook is making a valid point that they're not making a mobile app for iPad. However Im willing to bet that within the next 6 months or so , they will release a tablet version ;)
Back to your geek caves ! :twisted: :lol:

The part I don't get is why any of you actually care. How many of you actually use Facebook? If I hadn't gotten suckered into Farmville, I'd never look at it. It comes nowhere near the scope of Twitter. Even from a Mac or PC on the web it's totally inconsistent. I can look at my pc on the web and my FB app on my iPhone and see two completely different sets of status updates. WTF?!
Time to say "ok, fine, so Facebook won't do an iPad version...let's just call it like it is and stop using FB. Period."

Alli my dear ,
There are more Facebook users out there than iPad & iPhone users combines. Fact.
It could be the other way around where people would say why would I need an iPad.
Let's face it , even tho FB has its minor bugs , it's still a very popular and useful network to keep in touch with friends and family.
Show me one app, website or device that's PERFECT !

Zuckerberg had to make a deal with the devil to get where he is. I understand that he started Facebook. I understand he's a billionaire. But he has shown multiple times that he is incompetent at running a business. Facebook has been caught multiple times giving away (selling?) users private information. The iPhone app is horrible and riddled with bugs.
The FB app for the iPhone already exists (buggy). Why not make an iPad version? Why not expand your user base even more? Why stare at an opportunity, and not take advantage?

People, Facebook is a website! iPad has a 1024X768 screen resolution and is capable of displaying websites without a need to create a special app. The apps are created for mobile phones that have smaller screen. Mark meant that iPad is not a mobile PHONE.

@Joe McG
Making an iPad app will cost time and money, and expand Facebook's user base approximately 0%. The intersection of iPad owners, Facebook users, and non-smartphone owners is too small to count, much less any impact on FB's user base. They have stared at that opportunity, and have concluded (thus far) the benefit is not worth the cost.
But, you know, Facebook has a plethora of open APIs. If you see an opportunity Facebook does not, build your own Facebook iPad client, and cash in.

this is funny... didn't he, in an interview earlier this year, say that an ipad version was in production? if it wasn't him, SOMEBODY from facebook said it... doesn't matter to me though, the "friendly for facebook" app does the job fairly well

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So good to seek out someone with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is something that's needed on the web, somebody with a little originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the internet!

What a pathetic excuse. I think it is time for young master zuckerberg to listen to the grownups for once and do as he is told!

Fact is, people like the badge notifications you get on the iPhone. It's exactly the same OS and the iPhone on the iPad, so how can they say it's not mobile? The Facebook website doesn't work on iPad, like it doesn't work on the android tablets too. You are limited with the touchscreen, because of moving things around like setting new display pictures. I agree with the guys above who say Facebook are lazy sons of bitches. Few are Steve Jobs worshippers, we just know that his way is probably best at the moment.

Something to consider is that Facebook is a non-versioned release system...which means if they want to release a new version, it just works.
Having a mobile version-controlled app means that there could be a lot of inconsistency & error messages in the experience for those who haven't upgraded their app since the Facebook un-versioned web experience was updated.
I think we'll see a lot more of this in the future, and Apple will figure out how to make it work in everyone's favor...hopefully.

it works fine with me
Try reinstall, without opening it, change the device family.plist as usual
Then install the tweak then respiring

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