Facebook's 300m app users

Sometime in the last couple of days, the monthly active users (MAU) of Facebook’s mobile apps passed 300m. 

Quite unsurprisingly, these are dominated by the two platforms that have traction, iOS and Android. As Techcrunch pointed out a few days ago, Android has now passed iOS in DAUs, though Apple has passed the round 100m MAU figure.  

Windows Phone remains quite insignificant, though that may change next year as Nokia’s efforts come fully on stream. Meanwhile around 70% of RIM’s 70m active users have installed the Facebook app. That’s a high penetration rate (it comes to around 50% for Android and iOS) on what is supposed to be a corporate product, pointing to RIM’s strength in messaging, but also to the way that the mix is shifting away from business customers and towards emerging markets and teenaged girls (in the UK at least). 

But the most important thing about this chart is the total - 300m mobile app users. This is more than either Apple or Android in total, each of which have around 225m active mobile users. Facebook doesn’t tell us how many only use Facebook on mobile, but the number is likely to be high.

How does this compare to mobile web users? Facebook gave a number for total users of 800m and mobile users of 350m back at the end of September, at which point there were around 250m MAUs of the apps (i.e. 350m people used Facebook on mobile of which 250m used the apps and 100m used the mobile web). In other words 70% of mobile users and 30% of all users used apps to access Facebook.  

Meanwhile the iOS and Android apps are on the way to being one platform, with Facebook moving them more and more towards being wrappers for a common HTML5 experience. Next year Facebook will treat that user base as less of a mobile extension to the desktop experience and more as the core product - starting with advertising. What will that do to mobile CPMs, I wonder? What happens when Facebook starts trying to take the full Facebook app ecosystem to mobile? People who want app stores to be replaced by HTML5 might get what they want, but not in the way that they mean…

(This is a preview of a report I’ll be publishing for Enders Analysis in the new year)

UPDATE  23 April 2012

This post is now quite old, but still gets lots of traffic. For the sake of housekeeping: 

  • Facebook has now stopped disclosing data for its own apps
  • The Windows Phone data appears not to reflect the real usage of the platform - Nokia has now sold ‘over 2m’ Lumia phones, but the Facebook app data is well below this.