Facebook’s Android app now beats their iPhone app for daily actives

By December 19, 2011Facebook, Google, Mobile

I’ve been saying for some time now that the fundamentals of the Android ecosystem are stronger than that of Apple’s iOS, largely because Apple doesn’t know how play nice with its ecosystem partners.  I think we are now getting near to the tipping point where Android starts to claim dominant mindshare and the shift in balance from iOS to Android will accelerate.  The latest piece of data to hit the wires that encourages me in this view is that there are now more daily users of the Android Facebook app than there are use of the iPhone Facebook app. 

If I’m right then developers will start developing for Android at the same time or even before they build for the iPhone – something I would like to see.  I have recently switched from iPhone to Android and my experience so far is that most startups launch first on iPhone with many not even having a date for an Android release when they first go live in the App Store.

The charts below were on Techcrunch over the weekend.

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  • Android is and will always be bigger than iOS – multiple manufacturers mean more options, hence more users. So, it should not be surprising AT ALL if in the near future Android adoption will outperform iOS by miles. However, as recent studies have shown, iOS apps can generate 10x the revenue of Android apps…this leads me to the almost obvious conclusion that a) apple users are the early tech adopters and b) they have a higher disposable income. So, no matter how big Android gets, Apple customers will always be a very coveted market for developers and retailers.

  • Not so sure about that. As Android devices and toolsets get better the early adopters will move across. I also think the monetisation will start to even up – in fact it would be interesting to see if/how fast Android is closing the gap here.

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  • You are probably right – but I doubt that you’ll see a massive exodus from iOS to Android.
    The switch from one platform to the next does not come as natural as you may think. Why would I move away from my seamlessly (& elegantly) integrated iOS ecosystem where everything works painlessly, to another one where there is no material added value but where my opportunity cost is material? Presumably, as we move towards a more/better integrated media environment, I will have less and less incentives to move away from my current platform (itunes/icloud/appstore – ipad, iphone, mac, Apple TV.)From a monetization stand-point, ultimately it is a volume game and if android is 10x larger (as number of users) than iOS then, as time goes by and consumers become more savy, its revenue will be proportionally larger.

  • Good point. There are a lot of people who are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem and they won’t change easily. It will be interesting to see just how many folk that is though. I was surprised on a recent entrepreneurs weekend away to see that many were carrying Android devices – mostly the more techy types

  • Techy types have always preferred open source platforms…I think it is an ideology more than anything else. There are 200M active itune accounts and probably 100M iphone users globally – so the apple market is quite large and while few may leave, others will join. In the short term, apple will add customers and loose market share. Clearly the fight is over those who are  not part of either ecosystems and android has much better chances to win them over.

  • Alternatively – as we move towards more and more cloud services it will matter less which platform we access them from and it will become easier to shift. I have shifted from iPhone to Android and haven’t missed a step on my key services – Spotify, Evernote, Kindle, Email (MS Exchange), and Google Maps.
    Where all this comes out probably depends on two things:

    – Whether you are focused on streaming media around the home or the sort of services I describe above
    – Whether the platform agnostic services like Netflix and Spotify win out over the vertically integrated services from companies like Apple and now Amazon