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Who was first on “mobile first”?
Internet giants Google and Facebook have embraced being “mobile first,” an industry term that means placing a priority on building apps for mobile devices, not Web apps.
Asked what the next big thing would be during an onstage conversation this week with All Things D’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt replied: “Mobility.”
“I call it mobile first,” he said.
And, in fact, he was among the first to call it that.
During his first keynote address to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in February 2010, Schmidt declared that Google had developed a new “mobile first” culture.
He urged developers outside of Google to “work on mobile first” too, predicting smartphone sales would soon overtake personal computers.
“Our programmers are doing work on mobile first,” he said at the time. “We understand that the new rule is mobile first.”
Google has taken mobile so seriously, it created its own Android mobile software. And it has gotten into the hardware business too.
Not that Facebook is claiming credit for coining “mobile first,” but it too began calling itself a “mobile first” company over the summer, on the heels of its disastrous initial public stock offering. The social network is looking to reassure investors jittery that more than half (600 million out of 1 billion) of its monthly active users use Facebook via mobile devices, but that in its regulatory filings prior to the IPO, Facebook acknowledged that mobile usage doesn’t generate any “meaningful revenue.”
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