November 11, 2008, 5:19 PM — Facebook said that use of its mobile products has tripled since the beginning of the year and the popularity of some features has surprised the company.
Use of Facebook mobile products has grown from 5 million active users at the beginning of the year to 15 million, Wayne Chang, an engineer on Facebook's mobile team, wrote on a Facebook blog on Monday.
Mobile phone users can access Facebook using a browser and the mobile Facebook page or through dedicated applications. BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm and Windows Mobile devices have Facebook applications that were created by third parties. People can also send text messages from their phones to update their status.
Chang also said that when the company recently began letting people use the mobile Facebook site to comment on friends' status updates, it was surprised to get nearly 1 million status comments in the first 24 hours. Previously, mobile users could update their own status and read friend status comments from their phone, but not add comments.
With the growth of mobile usage, Facebook has expanded its team of mobile workers and continues to improve the offering, Chang wrote.
So far, just one relatively basic Facebook application has appeared for the only Android phone on the market. Called Statusinator, it lets users update their Facebook status and photos and see friend status.
The growth of Facebook mobile usage may continue its momentum in the next few years, according to analysts. In a report issued earlier this year, Pyramid Research said it expects the number of mobile social network users worldwide to grow from 300 million in 2010 to 950 million in 2012.