By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
So if you have not been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you have surely heard that Facebook is now a public company. With the largest tech IPO in history on the one hand, and an IPO many people are calling a disaster on the other, Facebook has definitely supplied us with enough drama to last a lifetime.
Putting aside the financial aspect of the IPO, it is pretty much agreed by all that Facebook’s Achilles’ heel is its monetization. Yes, it is by far the biggest social network ever with 900 million users, but we all know, there is no ROI on social media, right? That was a joke, just in case you were wondering.
Anyway, Facebook has not yet figured out how to truly monetize its users and that problem is magnified on mobile, where a vast majority of its users access the platform. So what does Facebook do? They go and buy Instagram, the company that also has no clue how to monetize mobile for a billion dollars. Um…ok.
Well, here is the thing with monetizing mobile. Whether Facebook decides to go down the advertising route, the in-app purchasing route, or some other route it invents, step one is improving its mobile user experience. If you have used the Facebook app on iOS or Android, then you most likely have a head full of grey hair. It is infuriating.
So, is it really possible that the brilliant Zuckerberg who now has billions of dollars in the bank cannot figure out how to hire an awesome mobile developer to offer a solid mobile user experience? That is what most of us thought, until now.
Facebook just released a new app, Facebook Camera, which ironically, is in direct competition with Instagram (yes, there are differences, but the question is now what app you will launch to snap a photo, Facebook Camera or Instagram.). The thing with Facebook camera is, and sit down for this, it doesn’t stink to high heavens. It is actually fairly great.
You can read a full review of the app on TheNextWeb here, or pretty much anywhere else on the Web, but more important than the details, is the fact that for the first time, it seems Facebook gets it. The company now understands that its future is on the mobile device and for that future to be somewhat optimistic, they better get their act together.
Why they released an app that will draw users away from Instagram is a different question all together, but meanwhile, we will take what we can get. All that is left to do now is to wait for the person who developed Facebook Camera to get to work on the Facebook app and he/she sure has their work cut out for them.
Download Facebook Camera here.