At the GigaOM Mobilize conference just now, Chamath Palihapitiya of Facebook just gave a little indication of what’s next on the company’s product roadmap. Palihapitiya, Facebook’s VP of Growth, Mobile and International was serving on a panel about mobile social networking, when an audience member commented that a phone’s address book is essentially its owner’s social network, Palihapitiya replied, “That’s a great observation. Stay tuned.”
Facebook PR wasn’t going to let him say more than that, but I for one think this is a splendid idea that could be revolutionary if implemented correctly. Facebook has all along said it wants to mirror real-world relationships. When you throw mobile into the mix, there’s no reason to even have to separate so-called offline and online contacts. The site already has a vast repository of cell numbers on its member profiles, as well as many mobile users through downloads of its applications for platforms like BlackBerry and iPhone as well as mobile browser access. I think this integration would be so useful — Facebook could even go so far as to co-launch a phone with a handset maker.
But anyway, I’ll post the full write-up of the session in a moment.