Do you prefer social networking on your phone or your computer?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
While BlackBerry still blows up the news feed of just about every tech website out there, I’ve decided to give a change of pace with this article and focus on another interesting news piece that’s surfaced regarding Facebook usage: Today marks the first day that the number of users using Facebook on their mobile surpasses those who use it on their desktop.
When I first got my Facebook account, I pretty much only used it on the computer. At the time I was carrying a basic flip phone. Although it had unlimited internet, Facebook was extremely messy and unorganized. It was always in the dreaded “mobile view”, which was often difficult to navigate and also had terrible loading times if trying to acquire too much information. Even when I got my Katana II I had issues with the Facebook interface on my phone. It wasn’t convenient and the most you could really do was update your status if you had ten minutes to wait for the pages to load. Back then social networking was better left to the desktop, whether it was Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, etc.
However, as phones got smarter and apps became more popular, Facebook eventually developed its own application for download. This made navigating Facebook on a phone easier, but like any new app it didn’t come without bugs and frustrations at first. While an app will never be without flaw, Facebook certainly has come a long way since they first started actively working to create a usable mobile interface. If somebody didn’t know any better, one might think that Facebook was built for smartphones instead of a desktop at first.
I prefer to use my phone to connect to social networking sites now because for the most part, they’re built for short, periodic interactions of what’s going on in your life at that very moment. Snap a picture, post it a few minutes later. At the football game? Tell the world how you feel about that last call the ref made in 160 characters or less. ARRRRRRRRGH THAT REF! #BADCALL! It’s a good way to vent current emotions and start conversations with people in real time.
This “news” was pretty much inevitable. More and more interactions that would be considered normal for a desktop are being converted for easier access on smartphones. Essentially our devices are small computers, so why wouldn’t they head that way? We even have Windows 8 which is trying to bring the “smartphone” aspect of our lives into our desktops. We are becoming more adapted to the smartphone way of thinking: simplistic, easy movements and gestures, and compatibility.
It seems that Facebook made a smart decision by making mobile accessibility a priority, and it’s paying off for them now. While most social networking fads lasted only a few short years, Facebook has been going strong for 9 years and I’m sure they can attribute a large part of their success to their mobile platform developments.
Readers, do you prefer social networking on your desktop or have you become more accustomed to networking via smartphone? What kind of things would you have normally done on a desktop that you now use your smartphone for regularly? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!