Facebook to Revamp Mobile App, Values itself at $3.7 billion

facebookFacebook says 13% of its users use the service from their mobile phones. Facebook is getting ready to launch a significantly revamped mobile app to better accommodate mobile users. One of the most significant features will be the ability to easily sync your Facebook contacts with your mobile phone book and add Facebook profile pictures as your caller ID. However, recently, tech blogger Robert Scoble tried to use Plaxo to export his 5,000 Facebook contacts to Outlook, only to have his account disabled for apparent terms of service violations. Now, this certainly raises ethical questions here, especially because not all people on Scoble’s friend list would want their personal information stored, especially because they don’t even personally know him. Should data portability on the social web be really open? What are the implications for Twitter accounts that have 55,000+ followers (including Robert Scoble with 58,000+ followers), should they be able to mine the data out? 

The new Facebook app will initially only support the iPhone and the Blackberry. However, there are reports that indicate the new app will also be preinstalled on the new Palm Pre. There are also reports that indicate Facebook is seeking a partnership with Motorola. The Facebook app will also be available in one of Nokia’s new flagship phones, likely the new XpressMusic phone, however, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a standardized app available for Symbian to support the new N97, among other high end handsets.

In addition, recently, the AP was able to copy court papers from the recent ConnectU Facebook case, which detailed Facebook values itself at $8.88 per share, or $3.7 billion. I never did think Microsoft’s October 2007 $240 million 1.6% stake was a good investment.

In related news, an interesting study conducted by Pew about Twitter users found also found Twitter users are mobile, urban, and engaged online. The sample size was based on 2,253 adults (normally distributed). The study found the median age of Twitter users was 31, compared with 26 for Facebook users and 27 for MySpace. See the full results here.

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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to [email protected]
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