I just got seated at the Facebook Mobile event in Palo Alto, CA. Stay tuned for live updates about what Facebook is about to unveil.
10:37 AM – Mark Zuckerberg just took the stage!
10:38 AM – 200 million Facebook users use the service on a mobile device. User base tripled in the last year.
10:40 AM – Facebook will be updating apps for iOS and Android (major refresh). Making it easier to let people tag people at Places locations. Making it easy to upload photos as you check-into locations.
10:41 AM – Facebook was getting ready to launch a major app, but Google had bought the company making it right before. The upcoming update for Android will included features such as Places.
10:43 AM – Facebook is NOT building their own phone. Zuckerberg called it a “novelty idea.”
10:44 AM – Three new features: 1) Single Sign-on feature making it easy to log into any app on a phone once you’ve signed into Facebook. 2) Location APIs 3) Deals Platform
10:46 AM – The READ API was available for Facebook Places, but the WRITE API was closed. Facebook is now opening that up for developers. The deals platform is to let brands and business offer discounts to customers.
10:51 AM – Facebook’s goal with Single Signon is to make it easy to register/login to any app already on a phone. A person from Groupon is demoing how to make it easy to use their app with the Facebook Signon API.
10:55 AM – Zynga’s mobile General Manager just took the stage. The company re-releasing a Live Poker app enabled with Facebook Single Signon API.
10:58 AM – Facebook is launching a major update to the Android SDK today which will include the APIs to let developers use the Single SignOn feature.
11:01 AM – Correction, it’s not just the Read and Write APIs that Facebook is opening up. They are also enabling access to the Search API.
11:03 AM – Gowalla, Foursquare, and a handful of other partners now can write check-ins from their services into Facebook Places.
11:05 AM – Loopt is also enabling single sign-on with their service. Checking into their service also automatically checks them into Facebook Places.
NOTICE: I apologize, the network here is quite slow. Nothing can handle a room full of reporters live blogging an event. Images will get uploaded shortly after the event.
11:10 AM – A DEMO of Facebook Deals: Bringing up the Deals page will bring up list of local near-by business. The ones will Facebook Deals available will show an icon besides the business. To redeem a deal, a user can check-in to that location. (So it’s pretty much FourSquare?)
11:14 AM – Business and brands can target check-ins for multiple people as well. This motivates people to bring more people into a business to be eligible for a deal
11:17 AM – GAP giving away 10k pairs of blue jeans for the first 10k checkins. Afterwards customers can still get 40% discounts. Palms in Las Vegas is offering a 3rd night check-in for free (if booked for two nights already!
11:21 AM – Mark Zuckerberg just took the stage again. He’s making it clear that the Facebook values Mobile. They plan to plan an important role in continuing to expand into the mobile arena.
11:27 AM – A reporter from CBS News asked about the privacy issues since 3rd parties will now have access to let people use Facebook sign on credentials. Zuckerberg said the same privacy policies will remain active.
11:29 AM – Ben Parr from Mashable asked whether an iPad App would be available and if so when. Zuckerberg stated that “the iPad isn’t a mobile device.” Ouch. Apple’s not going to be happy to hear that.
11:31 AM – A reporter from BBC just asked how Single Signon will change the mobile environment. Response? Getting users to register is one of the hardest issues for developers. Users don’t like registering for apps each and every time. Facebook is making it easy to do that. A quick app switch will authenticate any app through Facebook.
11:35 AM – The Facebook Android app will be available NOW in the Android Marketplace. Facebook Deals will only be available the United States. Other countries will eventually come later onwards.
And that wraps up our coverage of the Facebook Mobile event. Be sure to grab the update for your Android and iPhone devices.