Facebook’s Psuedo-SMS Looks Like a Success

If you’re looking for the killer app for mobile, you don’t have to look much further than text messaging. That said, what’s the next killer app? Maybe competing with SMS…

That looks to be the case as a variety of Web-driven messaging providers aim to take advantage of more open devices and cheaper data plans to circumvent standard text messaging.

Consider Facebook the latest. The site already has released popular mobile versions of its site, and more and more carriers are including a Facebook icon on their decks, a clear nod to the popularity of the site. The social network site recently added the ability for users to comment on updates to their friend’s status messages via a mobile phone, essentially adding a more real-time element to Facebook communications. It reported a million status comments in the first 24 hours for the new feature.

Said the official Facebook blog, authored by “Wayne the Facebook engineer”:

This may not seem like much, but it was actually part of a really important change. As people on Facebook share more and more information each day, status updates have become one of the most popular ways for people to connect quickly and easily on the site. Before, you could only update your status or read other people’s from your mobile phone. Now you can converse with your friends on Facebook by commenting on their updates no matter where you are.

According to Facebook, active mobile users on the site have grown from 5 million to 15 million this year alone.

While clearly providing an SMS alternative, it’s important to note that Facebook integrates with carrier SMS as well: Facebook SMS allows users to receive notifications or update their status with text messages.

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