Why Facebook needs an iPad app

Facebook held a press conference the other day at which CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook does not need an iPad app because the iPad is not a mobile device. The latter part of that statement is an argument in itself, but I want to give three big reasons why Facebook does indeed need to provide their customers with an iPad app.

Media uploads

The biggest problem with using Facebook on Safari is the inability to upload photos and videos. One may argue that the iPad does not have a camera, hence there is no need to upload photos with it. This is simply not true. I may find a photo on the web that I saved to my photo library and desire to share on Facebook. Or perhaps I'm on vacation and uploaded a bunch of photos to my iPad with my camera connection kit and want to share them on Facebook. I could have even synced photos to my iPad and edited them with one of the many photo editing apps available. It'd be nice to immediately upload to Facebook without taking the intermediate step of transferring the photos to my computer first. You get the point. There are many situations in which one might desire to upload a photo to Facebook with their iPad.

Chat

Facebook is a social networking platform and, as such, the ability to chat with friends is a big part of the service. But good luck chatting while on your iPad, the ability to do so is simply impossible.

Tagging friends in status updates

When writing a status update for Facebook on a Mac or PC, if you start typing a friend's name preceded by the @ symbol, a drop down menu appears with names of friends you can tag in your post (ex: "@Rene Ritchie"). If you try to do this on an iPad, the menu simply does not appear, making it impossible to tag friends in status updates on the iPad. This is frustrating, to say the least.

These are just three reasons why Facebook needs to design an app for the iPad. There is also the fact that Facebook on the web is designed to be a used with a mouse, not a finger. Yes, it (mostly) works with Safari on the iPad, but the fact of that matter is that the Facebook experience on the iPad could be so much greater with it's own app. Why doesn't Zuckerberg see this?

One of my theories is ads. It's no secret that Facebook makes their money from ads. Most people who use Facebook on their iPhone or iPod touch also spend a lot of time using the web version and thus still see ads. But if an iPad user had an ad-free Facebook application on their iPad, they may never use the web version again. I wouldn't. I have a feeling this is what Zuckerberg meant when he said the iPad is not mobile. iPhone users primarily use the Facebook app when the are out and about - away from a computer. But many iPad users will browse Facebook while at home sitting on their couch - 15 feet away from their desktop or laptop. That's million of users who may potentially never encounter a Facebook ad again.

My solution? Bring the ads! Sure, it may initially upset users to see ads when using a Facebook app on their iPad, but at least the overall experience will be better than using Safari. Sometimes I wonder if Zuckerberg has forgotten who his true customers are - Facebook users.

What do you think about the lack of a Facebook app on the iPad? Do you think ads may being playing a part in its nonexistence? Do you want a separate iPad app or are you happy with using Safari?

Sound off in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

More Posts

 

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

← Previously

iAd Begins to Crop Up Worldwide

Next up →

How to restore your iPhone or iPad with iTunes

Reader comments

Why Facebook needs an iPad app

82 Comments

they def do. right now friendly is banking. FB is saying they dont need an app. more likely they dont want to hire ipad dev. the webpage sucks compared to the app. never even use the site anymore only the app. im sure not the only one.

All the reasons above you mentioned are flaws from iPads safari!
So kindly ask Mr Jobs to dont put out a half ass product out there.
And ipad is NOT a MOBILE device. its a PORTABLE device.
If iPad is mobile device, then PSP and DS and any laptop should be qualified as MOBILE.

These seem like more of a problem with the iPads lackluster browser than Facebooks website. The iPad should have a more full featured browser than can handle popular websites. I feel as if I am using a phones browser on a laptop sized screen. It is not Facebooks responsibility to pick up the slack for Apple's failure.

I hate that if I were to click to see the attendees of an event, or I want to see the list of everyone a person is friends with, it only shows the first few people and WILL NOT scroll. That and not being able upload pictures are the 2 most annoying things
Tweger01: You can use the iPhone app on the iPad, but have you tried iPhone only apps on the iPad? CRAPPY experience.

So. due to ipads lack of a full web browsing experience, or because ole Stevie j doesn’t want to play nicely with others, why is it facebooks role to provide a solution to apples own doings??

@Damien.. I can't even use the Facebook website cause there's just too much... lol Too much going on, coming from the old Myspace. I didn't get on FB until I got the app, and the app is all I use.
This dude is gonna get facially moded. lmao

I'm fine with the existing Safari version myself. I do wish that I could upload photos, but apart from that I have little interest in a separate app.

I think people need to think about what could be done on the iPad that would go beyond what you could do with the web page.
With an iPad app, you could:
1. enable facebook users to show a slideshow of pics from their facebook photos, or those of their friends, using the iPad's built in photo frame / slideshow feature.
2. make friend suggestions based on the iPad's contacts / address book.
3. use the iPad's location services to provide location for posts, like the iPhone.
4. provide a better browsing experience and faster load times by using a UI that doesn't need to be downloaded every time you refresh the page.
5. and ... the big one ... you could do all of the things that you do with an iPhone, and still have room to show the ads - which is probably the real reason that Zuckerberg wants you to use the web site instead of another mobile app.

So because the iPad can't properly handle normal web functionality...Fb should spend time and money building an iPad app? This is an iPad fail.
How's that "open" portion of iOS working out? :-/ #sarcasm

@john
Many apps are like this. Netflix is one. They spent time and money building one.
People want apps instead of using a browser on mobile. I thought we knew that by now? If Facebook wants to reach more users, they'll get one eventually.

Once again, I don't think Zuckerberg said there would be NO iPad app, only that it does not fit into their MOBILE (i.e. pocket/smartphone) strategy. Another Facebook exec clarified that they are still exploring their tablet strategy. I think that's a good idea. The Facebook event this week was a MOBILE event. If they don't consider the iPad a mobile device (which, given their definition of mobile, it isn't), we shouldn't expect them to talk about it, pro or con.
Zuckerberg was not very elegant in his response, but I think it's a mistake to draw ANY conclusions about their plans iPad/tablets from those statements.

So take your iPad out of your pocket and shoot a picture with it.
Oh, it's in your backpack? Okay. I'll wait..... No camera?
Doesn't seem much like a mobile device to me. It's a portable device. Mine has replaced my MacBook Pro for excursions, but frankly I with the iPhone app was more like the mobile web version.
You're told you can't have something so it's the only thing you want. Just like Flash.
FFS, let it go. He is not obligated to provide an app if he doesn't feel there are advantages.

Anybody who ever used an iPad knows Facebook needs an iPad app. There's such an opportunity here and I don't know why they don't jump on it. Just imagine the advertising revenue they are losing. Free money!
For those whining about the lack of Flash on the iPad: the horse has been beaten to death. The iPad is over 90% of the tablet market so Facebook can either be stubborn or adapt...

Now that Oecoway's Friendly for Facebook offers a Lite (free) version and added instant switch-user functionality (version 3.0), who needs another Facebook app for iPad ;-) It's just gonna get better...

Nah I don't need an app, never needed to upload pics from iPad, and if I needed to there is already an abundance of 3rd party apps that will let me do that, or as others have said, just download the ipod version of the app if it really matters to you.

It's really disturbing to see how casually you refer to stealing someone else's images off the web and then sharing them as your own. I would think someone who creates content would have a bit more respect for others who do the same.

I agree that many of the issues with Facebook on iPad's Safari is a fault of the iPad. I can only hope that the browser will improve over time. However, this does not mean that Facebook shouldn't make an app. There are millions of Facebook users with iPads. That's reason enough to make an app. Instead, many of these users are turning to 3rd party ad-free apps. Ultimately, it's hurting Facebook.
@William - Why do you assume that the "stealing" of images is used so maliciously? What if my mother posts a photo of MY daughter on facebook and I want to share it. Sure, I can "share" the photo to my wall, but since her privacy settings are set to only allow her friends to see her photos, not all of my friends will be able to see it. And maybe I just want it to show up in my photo albums. Or maybe I find a really nice picture somewhere else, share it to Facebook, and provide a link in the caption from where I found it. I didn't say anything about claiming someone else's photos as my own.

1) Media uploads - You cannot get media ONTO the iPad except syncing it from machines which have other, better fb options.
2) Chat - Beejive, IM+ and others offer far better fb chat experiences than fb does in any format, app or website.
3) Tagging friends in status updates. Ok, you've got me there. Facebook has 500 million users, but it would surely rocket to a cool billion if only iPad users had a drop down for status updates.

Does the Facebook app for the iPhone not work on the iPad? (Not sure if it now requires iOS 4 or not) Side bar, kind of been wondering, I know you can pixel double iPhone apps but if an app is made for the retina display does it show up on the iPad that size or still the old size and you have to double it?

Someone tried to draw an arbitrary distinction between mobile and portable. Really? I'm pretty sure that in this context they're synonyms, you idiot.

When iPad 2 comes out, and tons of people buy it, the numbers alone should make Mr Facebook make an app for it. Just does not make good business sense not to have one.

They dont want to make a iPad app so you will continue to view Ads on Safari, unlike the iPhone app where you dont see Ads! Its SO OBVIOUS!

We certainly need an iPad facebook appication cause even when you go onto the main site on iPad using safari it doesn't fit on the screen propery grrrr
Facebook application for iPad is needed ;-)

I definitely agree! While the Friendly iPad app makes FB navigation a bit easier it won't allow the user to share a post or private msg... I couldn't believe what I was hearing when they proclaimed that an iPad was not a mobile device! The only reason I attended that FB event was for the answer to the iPad app question!

I use friendly. It allows uploading photos and almost everything a desktop experience will give you.
I do think facebook should have an app though. Is it just me or has Zuckerberg gotten pretty condescending??

Better idea. Instead of having a bunch of websites rewrite everything, that small percent of the market can just support what everyone else already does...

Why do we need an official Facebook app? Social is already great. Offical doesn't mean automatically better. I prefer Echofon Pro over the official Twitter app.

The official word from Facebook was that they want to target all tablets through the web, not an app. iPad does need any special treatment, it has the iPhone version of the app to use for the moment and that's good enough.

I don't see facebook lasting that long anyway. It will be just like myspace, great for a wile then something will come out better and facebook will fade away with the rest of the trash out there.

I think it is in the best interest of any enterprise that builds apps, that they consider the iPad in any of their development roadmaps. Plain and simple. We can shoot holes all day in Safari and it's lack of features to support the experience in comparison to other browsers, but at the end of the day, you develop the app to meet the device. It's common sense.
There is a ton of untouched innovation and features to explore through having an iPad app. And with other versions to come and even the Blackberry Playbook, it's only wise to consider the tablet market and formulate a profitable strategy, include ads, who cares.

Are there any other browsers available to the iPad that allow you to tag friends in your status updates?

Friendly Facebook is still good!
There were many included updates the past days.
And the best part is that, your posts now say:
VIA IPAD!

The problem is Safari for iOS.. I could do all three of the things listed here using my old Nexus One Android 2.2 browser. When I switched to the iPhone 4 I was extremely disappointed by the lacking browser.

This really is indeed Superior expertise having writing and plenty of because of yahoo search engine pick up me on here. I beloved reading your content and added to the e book marks. The options you used to position up was clearly understandable. My husband additionally appreciated after reading this post. Let me go through for more earlier.

This is my grill. I love it. Take a close look at it and note the thoughtfulness of the design. Weber's team could probably work for Apple.

Personally, I always remove them. I can't stand the way they shift around when I'm reading... it drives me bonkers. While I'm reading a book I'll keep the jacket in my nightstand drawer (since I most often read at night before bed). Then when I'm finished with that readthrough, I replace the jacket for display purposes on my bookshelf.

Find the best information online about high interest bank account at BankingServices.ca today. Daily updated news, interest rates and more. Learn about high interest bank account and how to get paid for your money.

Great article. There's another interesting one on this topic need to keep pandemic preparedness at the forefront of every business manager's mind. It won't go away so better start preparing.For free references, resources and to join their free pandemic preparedness eCourse certification program, go to Bird Flu Manual Online or, if you need more comprehensive tutorials, tools and templates, consider Bird Flu D-I-Y eManual for your pandemic planning.

What was the purchase price for a 1939 Dodge Airflow Texaco fuel truck, new and maybe the asking price today as a collectors item?Anyone?

Superb page and additionally simple to make sure you figure out justification. Exactly how can Document keep performing obtaining concur to make sure you publish element for the document into my approaching e-newsletter? Getting correct credit scores in your direction all the journalist and additionally backlink to website won't deemed a dilemma.

I've been developing games using cocos2d-iphone for some time and was offen trapped with the Efficiency Problem. I was thinking about if it is possible to improve the engine using the STL-style template programming in the back-end ,rather than NSObject programming. Did cocos2d-iphone have plan about this? Or I wonder if I could contribute on it?

Usually I don't learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great article.

So are any of the real estate themes integrated w/ IDX-MLS services? If so, how? Are any able to be integrated with the dsIDXpress plugin?

Thank you for printing this wonderful article about Hawaii and Stuart Donache, PhD and his discovery of Nesiobacter exalbescens. Let's hope that Wisconsin and other states get on board and name their state microbes.

Wednesday I was searching for sites related to Marketing and specifically web site e marketing and I found your site.

Wonderful paintings! This is the kind of information that are meant to be shared around the net. Disgrace on the seek engines for no longer positioning this publish upper! Come on over and consult with my web site . Thank you =)

I gotta say I agree with most people. You wouldn't catch me on Facebook/Twitter shopping. Those sites get hacked daily. Yes anything can be hacked, but how easy is it? Hundred times easier than a bank or full 128bit SSL shopping site.

Hi there, i just needed to drop you a line to say that i thoroughly enjoyed this particular post of yours, I have subscribed to your RSS feeds and have skimmed a few of your posts before but this one really stood out for me. I know that I am just a stranger to you but I figured you might appreciate the admiration Take care and keep blogging.

Dear Allison,On a similar note,, In the fast changing planet, preferences of individuals change too. This really is the very reason why business folks turn into more productive advertising approach which can make them more income. As you can see today, marketing methods increase because which our technology gets higher because time goes by.BTW great blogpost

I would like to start using social media to market my nursery/kindergarten in the UK. I was thinking of using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn...would all of these be useful for my type of business?

Bhavin You're right. Nothing new at all! As the title of the post implies, it's "Learn SEO". It's not intended to tell you anything new, just how it works. Everyone needs to start somewhere.

This is the best blog for anyone who desires to find out about this subject. You notice so much its almost onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would want...HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a subject thats been wrote about for ages. Nice stuff, simply nice!

Enormously educational thanks, I do believe your visitors will likely want further blog posts like this maintain the excellent effort.

Hmm Well I was just searching on yahoo and just came across your site, in general I just only visit sites and retrieve my required info but this time the useful info that you posted in this post urged me to post here and appreciate your diligent work. I just bookmarked your site. Thank you again.

That's a phenomenal, thoughtful, and wonderful comment David! We are really looking forward to receiving your application I can't wait to learn all about Never Say Never! I keep seeing incredible bits of wisdom from Randy Komisar and recently ordered his book "Getting to Plan B" recommended by Dennis Whittle, Global Giving Founder, an interview we did with him here a few weeks ago. Have you read it?

Particularly in the field of Massage Therapy-Note: I have researched all the local newspapers and magazine advertising prices. I can't afford $2,000-$10,000 for a full page spread!

When I worked rehab in Illinois, it was against the law to rehab orphaned skunk kits. If they were brought into the center, they would be put down due to the high incidence of rabies (85%) in skunks. This is a law in Illinois. There is a law there against rehabbing bats, also. I don't know if this percentage has been proven false or if anything has changed in IL since I lived there. I hope so.

Terrific work! That is the kind of info that should be shared across the net. Shame on the seek engines for not positioning this submit upper! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)

Cheap Caribbean has the worst customer service ever. Went to Punta Cana and they didnt even book our flight and tried to blame it on us. Then Cheap Caribbean booked the wrong room at the hotel. Got 1 phone call from their representative while in punta cana and that was it. It made our vacation a lot more difficult and didnt even try to help us out a little. Wont be using Cheap Caribbean again, ever.

You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.