Why I disagree with Mark Zuckerberg who claims the iPad isn’t mobile [Poll]

I came across this interesting article on Forbes.com, which also includes a short video (below) of Mark Zuckerberg answering a question from the audience and basically saying that the iPad is not mobile.

The question was about whether Facebook would build an iPad app, which at the time of the question (November 2010) it didn’t exist. The author argues that Facebook’s lack of a mobile story should terrify investors, especially now that Facebook is a public company.

There are many ways of interpreting what Mark said and what he really meant by it, was he kidding about it, was it his way of dissing Apple or did he actually believe the iPad was just like a PC and not really a mobile device, and thus serving iPad Facebook users the same desktop version of Facebook.com would suffice?

In my opinion, I think Mark and many people for that matter, believe that with the beautiful Retina display of the new iPad, the size factor and the millions or pixels it now sports, they don’t really need to worry about creating content that adapts to the iPad and other Tablets.

This is where I disagree.

I strongly believe the iPad is a mobile device and all of us who publish content online should spend some time optimizing our content not only for smartphones, but also for Tablets accordingly and differently from what we offer our desktop readers. This is one of the reasons why I’m a big fan of Responsive Web Design because it allows us to create content once that intelligently adapts to various screen sizes and devices.

Please watch the video and chime in on whether you agree or not in that the iPad is mobile via the poll below:





You hear that?  About an iPad, ”it’s not mobile… it’s a computer.”  So that would suggest an iPad is merely an extension of the desktop PC website. Ok.

via Here’s the 30 Second Zuckerberg Video That Should Terrify All Facebook Investors – Forbes.

Do you think the iPad (and other Tablets) are mobile devices?

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  • Noticed that Connie Malamed tweeted about this. My feel is that you’re correct but the argument seems to be splitting hairs at the expense of the real priority in defining mobile. For example, my laptop is mobile by definition as well, depending on how wide you want to cast the net. The device, or even the form factor, shouldn’t be the primary defining variable in the mobile discussion.

    What should be primary? Two things: context and use case. These two factors seem to be buried behind all of the technology talk and I think these are the keys to success or failure in a mobile implementation. Devices are easy to identify or label. But they don’t matter a lick if we don’t identify the problems we’re solving, how we’re solving them, and what other potential problems we might be creating in the process.

  • TechCommGeekMom

    OMG, I think Zuckerberg’s been hiding under a rock writing code for too long. Granted, this was written just as iPad was released and hadn’t gotten its footing yet, but to say that it’s not mobile is nuts. Mine goes everywhere with me, pretty much. Even when I got it, my husband’s reaction was that it was an oversized iPod touch, and well, iPod touch is mobile, isn’t it? Yeah, hopefully the fact that Facebook eventually saw the light and created an iPad version, or at least an iPad compatible version, signals that hopefully the Big Z saw the light. Then again, there are rumors that the next version of the iPhone will integrate Facebook like it integrated Twitter, so who knows?

  • Hivaga

    IT is true Facebook page work exactly as good on iPad as on desktop there is no need to invest time and effort in iPad version. Very smart !

  • phb256

    I think there is a distinction between mobile and portable. While iPads are portable, I don’t see people carrying them around casually, like they do with keys, wallets and mobile phones. I think of mobile learning as anytime, anywhere, on the go – learning when you weren’t planning to. So in that sense I don’t see iPads or netbooks as truly mobile devices.

  • Interesting how most of the people who took the time to write a response don’t see the iPad as ‘mobile’. Having done a number of mlearning projects I can say that defining the iPad as mobile is a pure technical definition and as damaging to mlearning as can be.
    Hivaga gives the best answer – Facebook works on iPad like it works on the desktop (or laptop) – there is therefore no NEED for a different way of approaching the iPad. Yes the iPad and iPhone have the same operating system…. so?The thing that makes mobile is the fact that it requires a different way of presenting information – it is the cognitive not technical that makes the difference. Note the number of apps that have a different version for mobile and tablet.

    It is only when mlearning analysts and gurus realise that learning is the main part of mlearning that we will be able to focus on what matters.

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