Part of what makes Facebook's efforts stand out is that the company manages to update its app without ticking off its users. That's not easy when designers have so little real estate to work with, and users are demanding more functionality.
"They are generating revenue without [angering] users," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "This is very difficult on small screens. And Facebook, in an impressively short period of time, has gone from clueless on mobile to what is likely the best example of how to do this right, based on their financial results."
Gottheil said to continue to succeed with mobile, Facebook needs to focus on keeping its app simple, straightforward and fast, while paying attention to user privacy and complaints.
Company executives also need to keep an eye on Google, Enderle said.
"Right now [Facebook is] likely scaring the heck out of Google," he said. "They need to anticipate a Google response and consolidate their control over advertisers so Google can't make a competitive move and take back the value Facebook has fought so hard to create."
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