Yesterday, Facebook acquired Israeli mobile developer Snaptu (rumored amounts have valued the deal at $70 Million but we’ll have to wait and see). So what does Snaptu do? They enable popular smartphone apps to run on non-smartphones. This means that people with “regular” phones can access apps such as Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, and more. It’s a great concept, and a great app (from what I’ve seen/heard, I have never personally used it).
Why is this a big deal? Well, it will enable Facebook to offer a mobile experience to the hundreds of millions of mobile users who do not have a smartphone, giving them a strong foothold in mobile worldwide. Think that might serve as an advantage? I’d say so. Smartphone adoption is increasing and will likely increase at a fast rate, but this move solidifies a presence for Facebook not only on non-smartphones, but in the all important developing mobile nations.
So what will become of Snaptu and the suite of apps it offers for others services? I can’t imagine that Facebook would be okay with owning a company that is providing growth opportunities for twitter, LinkedIn and others. Statements from the company seem it indicate that they will continue to operate as usual…but we’ll have to see how that turns out.
What do you think about this acquisition and the future of both Snaptu and Facebook on mobile?