Facebook extends outreach to mobile developers

Mobile developers will get a chance to interact with Facebook engineers at three global events

Facebook is planning a series of three events that will for the first time give mobile developers a chance to hear directly from the company and interact with its engineers and product managers.

The events, which will take place in April in New York and in May in London and Seoul, come almost a year after the company initiated a major change in strategy to put mobile at the heart of its product offerings.

Roughly two thirds of the social network's billion users access it via mobile and Facebook is increasingly making money from them. Advertising revenue from mobile platforms made up 23 percent of Facebook's advertising take in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 14 percent just three months earlier.

At the one-day events, Facebook engineers will give instruction on implementation of the company's SDKs (software development kits) and Facebook log-in service, advice on using the platform and its features to drive social interaction and talk about the tools, libraries and techniques used inside Facebook on its mobile work.

The "highly technical" events will also include the chance to meet one-on-one with Facebook engineers and product managers to review apps and debug any problems associated with integrating with the Facebook platform.

Facebook previously brought developers together for its F8 conference, although that ended in 2011 and the company had no large event last year. The Mobile DevCon takes up where F8 left off, although on a smaller scale and with a sole focus on mobile -- another indication that Facebook clearly sees mobile as its future.

Among the three cities, Seoul perhaps stands out as an unusual choice. The South Korean market is small in global terms and Facebook faces a lot of competition from domestic services, but the country is one of the hottest places for development of mobile games. Together, South Korea and neighboring Japan account for a large portion of the mobile gaming market and it's this audience Facebook hopes to reach with the Asian event.

Facebook's Mobile DevCon will take place in New York on April 18, in London on May 2, and in Seoul on May 7. Pre-registration for the events is already open. It's free but developers are required to apply to attend. Video of the events is expected to be posted on Facebook's developer website.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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Martyn Williams

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