Facebook targets mobile

An article published last week was written by a woman feeling relieved and emancipated for removing herself from Facebook. She claimed that she had returned to phoning her friends when she needed contact and that when she felt the urge to check the world's largest social media site, she did something else, like read.

Congratulations to that person: breaking the shackles of Facebook had obviously become important to her.

But I view it differently. My son had a significant birthday last week and it was an opportunity to share with him from afar some early birthday photos of when he turned 1 and 7. The comments from his friends spread around New Zealand were rewarding in themselves, as I could not attend the celebrations.

I do not spend a long time on Facebook and can go a day or two without checking.

Interestingly, an interview published by Bloomberg with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg puts me right in the forefront of where he plans to take the company in the future.

After several months as the internet's punching bag, Mr Zuckerberg has something to brag about - Facebook has one billion users. If Facebook was a country, it would be the third-largest behind China and India.

With mobile users being seen as the future of the internet, Facebook is in the midst of a radical transformation to become a mobile-first service, as it aims for the next billion users, and the next.

I use Facebook nearly exclusively from my mobile phone running on Telecom's XT network.

A photo from my Samsung can be uploaded seamlessly and appears in seconds. The baby photos for the significant birthday were on a USB drive so had to be loaded from my laptop.

Facebook does not make much money off mobile but Mr Zuckerberg is not looking at things from quarter to quarter. He is taking the long view and said in the Bloomberg interview the next four billion Facebook users would be using the service on their phones.

"A lot of it over the next few years is going to come down to mobile. There is this funnel that I think is pretty clear and in our favour, which is there are going to be more people using mobile devices. There are already five billion, so that's where the user growth is going to come from."

It is a brave call by Mr Zuckerberg but he has been proved correct before with the exponential growth of Facebook.

But one thing needs to happen before we are all connected constantly to our mobile devices and Facebook - better battery life for our smartphones. Instead of having chargers at work, home and in the car, a battery that lasts 12 hours would be welcome.