When Will Facebook Take Apps Mobile?

I get a lot of thinking done in the shower. I’ll leave it at that so as not to draw any unwanted mental images, but this morning, I was washing what little hair I’ve got left and had a thought about Facebook. Since my trip to San Diego for the BREW conference (more thoughts on that are forthcoming in another post), I’ve been thinking more and more about widgets and runtimes and such. But my thought this morning: what happens if/when Facebook takes its platform and apps mobile?

Obviously there are plenty of Facebook apps that won’t run on mobile phones, I get that. But check out the post by Dean Bubley I referenced earlier, about Facebook v handset apps. What if Facebook creates some sort of layer or runtime that would let developers offer mobile apps, or mobile versions of their apps, as it’s done with its web platform? (Mobile Scrabulous anyone? :D)

It would face the same hurdles as all the other companies targeting this space with their own widget platforms or web runtimes, but its popularity and reach gives it a tremendous advantage. The Facebook mobile site is already one of the most popular mobile web destinations — and with normobs, not just early adopters and hardcore geeks (and MH readers).

James Whatley wrote a post a few months back about Facebook as a mobile device UI. That might be a bit extreme, but I think we’re going down similar tracks that will see the likes of Facebook — internet giants that focus on social connections — making bigger moves into mobile beyond simple sites offering cut-down versions of their PC web sites.

Anyhow, that’s my shower thought for today. What do you think? An idea best left to sink down the drain, or one that deserves being worked up into a lather?

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