So you can’t access your Facebook account and HTML 5 has you down?
Have no fear the Facebook 2.0 app has launched and is ready for action on Google Play right now. So does 2.0 continue to choke on images and freeze while you update your comments? The answer is a joyous no, and with this will come an increase in mobile traffic to Facebook. Does your company have its page ready?
The first iteration of the Android Facebook app was driven by HTML 5 and was a breakthrough success several years ago. Using this protocol was a great idea that streamlined the development teams at Facebook and allowed their mobile site and all apps to be updated simultaneously.
This could be done because the app used HTML 5 to deliver web-views in much the same way as a browser would (but not exactly). This efficient methodology continued until most of planet Earth had a Facebook account and a smart phone.
Once the traffic became overwhelming HTML 5 began to choke the various delivery systems and Facebook apps began to crawl. Logging in from a mobile device would often lead to blank screens, slower broken images, and various other slow and arduous processes. My answer to the problem was to put a shortcut on my main phone desktop to the Facebook mobile site and just use my phone’s browser.
It was still slow and clunky but amazingly not as slow and clunky. This elegant workaround became popular and many people were avoiding the app to use the awful but much less aggravating mobile browser solution.
Facebook released its iOS update in August to rave reviews. Users that previously hated the app couldn’t say enough good things about it and the apps rating went from 1.5 stars up to 4 in a month. Apple users were still wasting a lot of time on Facebook but they were getting more done in that time. It would be five more months before android users could join their iOS brothers in the sun.
On December 13 Facebook 2.0 for Android was released. I downloaded the app early on the 14th and spent the day using it off and on to see if it has the right stuff. So far without a doubt it is an enormous upgrade from the HTML 5 version. I can say with certainty that the following functions are operating more than twice as fast as they did previously:
- Control responses
- Comment submission
- Image load time
- Timeline load time
- App launch
If you head over to Google Play and read the reviews as of today the very worst I’ve seen anyone say of the new app is “its better”. Most of the reviews mirror those that were previously seen on the Apple Store forums five long months ago with much rejoicing. I will add my voice to that and say that I officially deleted the shortcut to Facebook on my phone and replaced it with this wonderful new app.
And believe me I’m not the only one. As if Facebook didn’t have enough user accounts now you can bet those users are going to be reading more, searching more, and buying more from their mobile devices. This means two things to any business:
- Your business needs a Facebook page now
- Your business needs a mobile page now
Facebook has been setting itself up as a competitor for Google in the search market. Obviously they’re not there yet but with the amount of time and resources they are pouring into their marketing backbone you can bet that Facebook is getting ready to rumble. They’ve been at an extreme disadvantage up to this point as their mobile solution made available for android, the mobile OS with the greatest market share, has been terrible and the mobile search market is booming.
Although there are many fantastic numbers floating around on the Internet showing various percentages of mobile searches Google has stated that 25% of all paid clicks going through them in 2012 were from a mobile device. From that we can assume that mobile is making up around 50% of all searches. You better have your site ready for mobile users now because in a couple of years that may be all you see.
After the fantastic reception this release has gotten so far I was surprised to see that Facebook will still be using HTML 5 on its mobile site. The company is stating publicly that it wants to help push advancements in HTML 5 in order to increase future flexibility in all mobile browsers. The company contends that a return to this protocol will probably be seen in the future once it’s ready.
I stated above that the new Facebook 2.0 app is twice as fast as its horrible predecessor, but it’s really faster. When you download and check it out it you will be as surprised as I was, so expect to really like what you find. Although it looks almost exactly the same it navigates like a breeze. With the 2.0 native app as the foundation for Facebook mobile expansions in the future we can look forward to better user experiences as well as more rapid advancement down the road.
So when you’re sharing your Christmas morning pictures this year with your friends and family you can be certain your holiday wishes will be delivered quickly and easily to a Facebook interface that will actually display them. If you haven’t already updated your app my recommendation is that you do so now, and have a happy holiday!