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Facebook Unveils Mobile Tools but no Mobiles

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So rumours of a Facebook phone are completely untrue; the iPad isn’t mobile and almost 200million people are using now Facebook on their mobile phones. Just another press conference from social media guru Mark Zuckerberg then.

Prior to the last night's press conference in Palo Alto, California there was a lot of buzz that Zuckerberg would announce some type of Facebook Phone. He was quick to scotch that rumour. “There's this rumor out there that we're building a phone, uh, no."

That’s that then I guess (or is it?) Ok, ok enough of this rumour-mongering and onto what the execs from Facebook did actually announce last night. The most important announcement (in our humble opinion) was a new way in which businesses can contact Facebook users near their locations.

The ‘Deals’ platform will allow businesses to contact Facebook users who are near them and send them special offers such as two-for-one deals or first 100 responders get free tickets. The platform will only be available in the US initially and rolled out around the world (similar to Places) at a later date. Could this be the way in which Facebook finally works out how to make money from its mind-boggling popularity?

The next biggest announcement was the single-sign-on third party apps. With this, if a user is already signed into Facebook, he can log into third-party apps with one click. Again this will be create better integration and could see Facebook become a hub for a number of other web applications.

One of the more light-hearted moments came when a journalist asked Zuckerberg that since this was a mobile press conference, when would Facebook announce a develop an app for the iPad. Zuckerberg dismissed the question with the short sharp: “"The iPad is not mobile. Next question."

While this drew loud gasps from those in attendance, Zuckerberg did come back to the question later and, retreating a little, said Facebook loved Apple and their products and it was more about looking at the tablet platform as a whole and not just the iPad as regards a Facebook app. Zuckerberg also announced updated apps for Android and the iPhone (adding Facebook Groups and refreshing Facebook Places) - adding blithely that 200million people are now using Facebook on their mobile devices.

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