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Facebook Coveting the Non-Smartphone Crowd

Lionseye insights from AC Lion

Yes, there are still some of them left in the world.   In fact, lots of them.    I estimate that roughly 190 million Facebook users use regular cellphones to connect to Facebook.   How did I get there?

  • Facebook has 500 million users worldwide.
  • About 40% of Facebook users connect to Facebook thru mobile phones.    That works out to 200 million users.
  • About 95% of mobile phone users don’t have a smart phone.   And that’s world- wide.  IDC says that 1 billion of them were sold in 2010.

Now, that’s a market worth tapping.   And Facebook wants to encourage you to connect via mobile.  Not just to increase traffic.   If you connect through a mobile, they know your location—and can now better serve you up ads.  And, don’t forget, that’s a real revenue stream for them.

Today Facebook announced it was buying Snaptu, which develops apps for those cheaper mobile phones, for a reportedly $60-70 million.   And that should help them reach developing areas where users don’t have PCs or smartphones.    Africa, Antarctica, the Amazon—Facebook marches on.